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UNICEF-chartered cargo plane delivers life-saving humanitarian supplies to Central African Republic

BANGUI, 26 July 2013 – A UNICEF-chartered cargo aircraft loaded with 52 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies touched down today in Bangui, Central African Republic.

The shipment – equivalent to six large truck-loads or 44 (4x4’s) worth of essential supplies –  is the third UNICEF charter of emergency supplies to arrive since March 2013. It includes medicines and health supplies to treat over 20,000 people, tarpaulins to provide emergency shelter for 1,000 families, 400 boxes of therapeutic milk to treat severely malnourished children, and health and nutrition equipment to benefit children and women in areas most hard hit by the violent crisis, particularly those in the interior of the country where humanitarian needs are the greatest.

“This is the largest shipment of supplies we have received since the crisis began. These life-saving supplies will be delivered immediately to affected communities across the Central African Republic,” said UNICEF Representative Souleymane Diabate in Bangui. “This month, through the work of mobile teams, we re-established a presence in the interior of the country and the supplies will be used to ensure that the health and nutritional needs of the most vulnerable women and children are met.”

Since the onset of the crisis in March 2013, UNICEF and partners have managed to scale up the humanitarian response and make a difference in the lives of 223,000 people who now have access to basic health services and medicines in affected areas through UNICEF-supported emergency interventions. In addition, 10,035 children with severe acute malnutrition benefited from therapeutic care and close to 123,000 children have been vaccinated against measles in Bangui, with the rest of the country to be vaccinated before the end of September security permitting. “The delivery of these humanitarian supplies is critical with the Central African Republic on the brink of a humanitarian disaster and the lives of 2.3 million of children at stake,” added Diabate.

To respond to the crisis, UNICEF is expanding emergency interventions to meet pressing needs on the ground. Thanks to the generosity of donors, US$8 million has already been raised. However, an additional US$24 million is needed for an immediate scale-up in response.

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About UNICEF

UNICEF works in more than 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: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:
Linda Tom
UNICEF Central African Republic
Tel: +236 70550210
E-mail: ltom@unicef.org

Laurent Duvillier
UNICEF West and Central Africa
Tel: +221 77 637 66 04 – 221 77 740 35 77
E-mail: lduvillier@unicef.org

Notes to editors
UNICEF estimates that the entire population of CAR’s 4.6 million people are affected by the crisis, half of whom are children is either. Since December 2012, more than 206,000 people have been internally displaced and nearly 59,000 new refugees have fled to neighbouring countries. Even before crisis, CAR consistently ranked among the bottom ten countries in development indicators with little or no improvement over the last 20 years. The under-five mortality rate is 164, the sixth highest in the world. The infant mortality rate is 108, the fourth highest in the world. The maternal mortality is 890, the third highest in the world.

Spokespersons available for interviews in country.


 

 

 

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