Today the United States announced nearly $51 million in additional humanitarian aid to support those affected by the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR). This new assistance brings the total U.S. humanitarian funding for the crisis to nearly $118 million in Fiscal Year 2014, helping people suffering inside CAR as well as refugees in the neighboring countries.
More than half of CAR’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance. This new funding will provide clean water, food, emergency health services and relief supplies to those most in need as a result of the crisis. It will support programs dedicated to identifying lost children and reuniting them with their families and surviving caregivers, when possible. The funding will also provide safe and nurturing spaces for displaced Central African children to learn, play and engage in psychosocial support activities, helping reduce their exposure to risks for exploitation and abuse. With rape, assault and extreme acts of cruelty against innocent women, men and children being committed every day in CAR, this new assistance will also bolster counseling for survivors of gender-based violence.
The United States is responding to immediate food needs by ramping up distributions of food, including nutritional supplements and special fortified food items for pregnant women and children. With 1.7 million people at risk of severe food insecurity, this new assistance will also provide seeds, tools and agricultural training to help farmers in CAR restart their livelihoods.
We applaud the hospitality of neighboring host countries in welcoming the nearly 140,000 refugees who have fled since December 2013. Cameroon and Chad have received the largest numbers of new refugees and vulnerable migrants, and require urgent donor support. Of this new funding, the United States will provide more than $35 million to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of refugees in the neighboring countries both through the United Nations and non-governmental organizations. This additional support includes water, locally-procured food assistance, shelter, education, support for hospitals and medical centers, and emergency reproductive health needs.
The United States remains deeply committed to stopping human suffering in CAR and is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to the crisis. However, unmet humanitarian needs remain astounding and require the international community’s sustained attention. Significant resources are needed to save lives and alleviate the suffering of the Central African people.