On June 17 in Bangui, Central African Republic, an airlift of vital relief supplies -- blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits and water buckets -- arrived to help Central Africans in urgent need in an area of northwestern Central African Republic virtually unreached by humanitarian aid since the escalation of violence in December 2013.
This flight is the second in a two-part airlift operation transporting supplies to help an estimated 42,000 vulnerable people.
Following is a statement by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg:
The violence gripping the Central African Republic has tragically continued, with barbaric acts of rape, assault, and cruelty against innocent women, men, and children. The human cost of this conflict is staggering: More than half the country is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, 1.7 million people face extreme levels of food insecurity, and nearly a million people are displaced, including more than 130,000 new refugees who have fled to neighboring countries just since December. The sheer scale and escalation of the conflict means needs are growing more quickly than international community can respond.
Today's airlift is a major breakthrough in our efforts to reach those most in need, especially in the hardest to reach areas like Ouham-Pendé. CAR is among the most difficult and dangerous environments for aid workers in the world today, with humanitarians abducted and harassed, and some killed by armed groups. Today's delivery of vital relief supplies reflects the U.S. government's relentless commitment to helping the people of CAR even in the face of these very real hurdles.
This USAID-supported airlift to partner, the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) is part of an ongoing effort to provide humanitarian assistance for the growing number of especially vulnerable Central Africans suffering from this crisis.
The United States is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance and supports security assistance to the Central African Republic, yet significant challenges remain. With steep global humanitarian needs as a result of the conflicts in Syria and South Sudan, the international community's sustained attention and commitment to supporting the new interim government and working through all channels to help the people of CAR will be vital to making a lifesaving difference.