|© UNICEF video|
|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow meeting people displaced by fighting in conflict-torn Central African Republic during her recent mission there.|
By Jane O’Brien
NEW YORK, USA, 28 February 2006 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow was at United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday to draw attention to the plight of children and families displaced by conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.
The briefing for the UN press corps followed her visits earlier this month to the two countries, which rank among the world’s worst – and most ignored – humanitarian crises.
While travelling in the northwest of CAR, Ms. Farrow witnessed burned out villages and met people who have been forced to live in the bush to escape the ongoing conflict that has spilled over the border from the neighbouring Darfur region of Sudan.
|© UNICEF video|
|Mia Farrow speaks to reporters at the United Nations, describing her visits to the Central Africa Republic and Chad.|
She described her meeting with one group of villagers who were hiding from the fighting.
“Three hundred souls came out of the bush like spectres, just caked in dust, emaciated, remnants of clothes or no clothing at all,” said Ms. Farrow. “People who had told us they had no blankets, told us their children were dying, told us they were too terrified to return to rebuild their village.
“This is an extremely traumatized population and neglected – utterly neglected,” she added.
Crisis scarcely addressed
Ms Farrow also travelled to eastern Chad, where there are hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the fighting in Darfur.
“The enormity of the humanitarian situation and the fact that it has scarcely been addressed for over a year is incomprehensible to me,” she said. “It’s been called a forgotten crisis, but that implies that it was once remembered. I don’t know that it has been in the consciousness of the international community.”
Ms Farrow is an internationally acclaimed actress who was awarded for her humanitarian work during her recent visit to CAR, where she received a Medal of Honour from President François Bozizé.