Nairobi — The Central African Republic (CAR) is facing a major and multifaceted humanitarian and security crisis exacerbated by a coup d'etat in March 2013.
Human rights abuses such as "arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks", are becoming ever more common, according to a recent report to the UN Security Council by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos called it a "complex emergency characterized by violence, acute needs and grave protection issues. If inadequately addressed, this crisis threatens to spread beyond CAR's borders and to further destabilize a region already facing significant challenges."
According to a recent multi-agency assessment, all types of livelihood have been undermined. Those worst affected include farmers, through looting, reduced access to fields, scarcity of seeds and other inputs; and herders, because of cattle theft, destocking and lack of cold storage. Opportunities for day-labourers have dried up, many civil servants are not being paid or have been displaced, prices have tumbled for agricultural and mining commodities, while both the retail and wholesale sectors have suffered from the overall economic slump.
Here are some data that illustrate the severity of the situation.
- 4.6 million Central Africans are affected by the crisis - the country's entire population
- 1.6 million are in "dire need of assistance".
- 206,000 people have been internally displaced, many of them living in the bush with little or no access to humanitarian assistance. 100,000 of them are children.
- 60,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, mostly the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- 11,252 refugees live in three camps in CAR, to which aid workers have very limited access.
- 650,000 or more children are unable to attend school.
- 484,000 people (10.5% of the population) are severely food insecure.
- 3,500 children have been recruited into armed groups
- 32% of the US$195 million sought for humanitarian aid in 2013 under the Consolidated Appeals Process has been forthcoming
- 0% of the $4.2m sought for emergency shelter has been received
- 10% or less of required funding has been received in sectors such as water, sanitation and hygiene.
- 3,652 military and civilian personnel will make up the African-led International Support Mission in CAR, drawn largely from multinational forces already on the ground under different authorities.
- 13,703 people on antiretroviral drugs are at risks of defaulting on their treatment because of supply chain interruptions.
- Less than 20% of the country's medical facilities are operational.
Sources: UNOCHA, UNHCR, UN Security Council, Save the Children
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. ]