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Press centre

Press release

Largest relief airlift lands in Bangui since violence began

UNICEF brings in 77 metric tons of life-saving humanitarian supplies to Central African Republic

BANGUI/DAKAR/COPENHAGEN/GENEVA, 13 December 2013 - About a week after deadly clashes killed hundreds and displaced many tens of thousands in the capital city of Central African Republic, the largest humanitarian cargo flight arrived in Bangui today carrying 77 metric tons of UNICEF emergency supplies.

The MD-11 charter flight is filled with blankets, soap, jerry cans, medicine, water purification supplies and plastic sheeting health and midwifery kits, for immediate distribution to up to 37,500 people.

“Over the past week, many people, mostly women and their children, have fled for their lives with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, from Bangui. “At the airport, families with small children are living under the wings of airplanes, exposed to wind and rain. Many have witnessed terrible violence and are too afraid to return home.”

“These emergency supplies will go to children and families most in need: plastic sheeting for protection from the elements; medical supplies to our partners so that they can continue to provide emergency care to those injured in the past few days of violence,” stressed Fontaine.

“Many people displaced by violence have still not received aid. With so many people in need, UNICEF did not have enough supplies in stock. This new arrival of emergency supplies is critical to prevent diseases, especially among the most vulnerable children and women.’’

Since the beginning of the crisis in Central African Republic almost a year ago, UNICEF has chartered five cargo airlifts to Bangui. UNICEF is planning additional humanitarian airlifts with a further 100 MT of life-saving medicines and medical equipment expected to land in Bangui next week.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For more information, please contact:
In Bangui, Linda Tom, Tel: + 236 70550210; ltom@unicef.org  
In Dakar, Laurent Duvillier, Mobile: +221 77 740 35 77; lduvillier@unicef.org 
In Copenhagen, Joan Howe, Mobile: +45 29 65 71 94; jhowe@unicef.org 
In Geneva, Marixie Mercado, Mobile: +41 79 756 7703, mmercado@unicef.org




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