BANGUI, 2 October 2012 ― UNICEF said today the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) had agreed to give €1.9 million (XAF 1,246 million) to respond to sudden emergencies in the Central African Republic.
The funds will support the pre-positioning of drinking water, hygiene and sanitation supplies and therapeutic food.
“This support comes at a critical time as recent political and natural events have weakened the resilience of vulnerable people,” said UNICEF Central African Republic Representative Souleymane Diabate. “Without prompt and well-coordinated assistance, even a minor shock could lead to increased morbidity and mortality, especially among children and women.”
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, more than 65,000 Central Africans are displaced within the country because of flooding and regional conflict. Displacement can easily lead to other crises, such as the nutrition and food security emergency currently in the North.
UNICEF will start pre-positioning emergency relief supplies in the capital Bangui and in the coming months will coordinate with NGO partners to plan for life-saving interventions.
“A main objective is to ensure that rapid onset emergencies are managed with the utmost skill and efficiency. The coordinated Rapid Response Mechanism is designed to maximize resources and effort, helping to avert catastrophes in regions where government and/or local capacity is lacking,” said ECHO CAR Representative Pascal Mounier.
The estimated number of people who can be reached by the Rapid Response Mechanism is 42,500, including 2,500 children aged 6-59 months with severe acute malnutrition among the displaced, refugees, victims of natural disasters or epidemics and other vulnerable groups.
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org
The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channelled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. ECHO is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2011 alone, it provided over 70 million Euros for UNICEF’s projects worldwide to support children.
For more information, please contact:
UNICEF Country Office, Central African Republic
Linda Tom, Chief of Communications, UNICEF Country Office, Central African Republic,
Cell + 236 70 55 02 10
ECHO Country Office, Central African Republic
Pascal Mounier, Head of Office
Cell + 236 72 27 67 67