New York, US - The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says UN and humanitarian organisations urgently need US$551 million to provide vital
relief and protection to 1.9 million people in the Central African Republic (CAR) over the next three months, but the appeal is only 11 per cent funded.
OCHA spokesperson, Mr. Jens Laerke, in a statement said: 'Unless additional funding is secured for the Central African Republic (CAR), nearly two million desperate people will be forced to go without food and basic necessities'.
Mr. Laerke said that, about half of the country’s population is in urgent need of basic aid, saying that, 'funding is a big issue, and because of the developments on the ground, the initial appeal had been doubled'.
He said: 'UN considers CAR as a crisis of the highest priority, along with Syria and the Philippines in the aftermath of the typhoon'.
He also noted that, the lack of proper transport infrastructure was a major obstacle for the more than 4,000 aid staff operating in the country on behalf of at least 76 humanitarian organisations.
The crisis in the CAR, which began when the mostly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks a year ago, had recently taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as militias known as anti-Balaka, who are mainly Christians, took up arms.