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Conflict affects entire population of the Central African Republic

30 May 2013

Tens of thousands of people are in need of shelter, healthcare and food following violent clashes between armed factions in the Central African Republic. The capital, Bangui, has been particularly badly affected. The British Red Cross has drawn down £125,000 from its Disaster Fund to help support the most vulnerable people.

Since December, more than 200,000 people have fled their homes within the Central African Republic. Almost 50,000 people have sought asylum in neighbouring countries, the majority of whom have settled on the Ubangi river, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Supporting the most vulnerable

The Central African Red Cross is working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Bangui to provide emergency first aid, deliver drinking water, and provide surgical and medical kits to hospitals. The Democratic Republic of Congo Red Cross is working to re-establish family links and provide healthcare, safe water and basic sanitation to people fleeing the conflict.

Georgios Georgantas, ICRC head of delegation in the Central African Republic, said: “In terms of humanitarian consequences, this is among the worst I’ve seen in the 11 years I’ve worked for the ICRC.

“We have to remember that the people here did not have much to begin with – we’re talking about one of the poorest countries in the world. If you add conflict, looting and displacement to the long-existing poverty and underdevelopment, you end up with a population in despair. 

“Some of these people are now in their fifth month of displacement, which means that for the past five months they have been drinking water of very questionable quality, they have been eating whatever they can find, they have probably not seen a doctor or a nurse, and their children have not been to school.”

Hear the full interview with Georgios below:

British Red Cross has given £90,000 to the ICRC, to support its response in the Central African Republic. A further £35,000 will go towards support for refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including 6,000 mosquito nets.

Donate to the Disaster Fund