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New York: UN allocates US10 million to CAR relief efforts

New York, US - The UN has allocated an additional US$10 million from its emergency humanitarian fund to support the most critical relief operations in Central African Republic (CAR), where hundreds of thousands have been uprooted by violence across the country.

PANA in New York reports that this is the second US$10 million allocation in about two months from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support aid efforts in CAR, which has been plunged into chaos and deadly violence following months of political crisis and lawlessness.

Ms. Valerie Amos, the UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, who announced the allocation on Thursday, said that needs in the country were tremendous, and humanitarian partners were being forced to prioritize the delivery of assistance.

She noted that an estimated 2.5 million people, well over half of the country’s 4.6 million residents, were in need of assistance.

Ms. Amos, who is also the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that security and stability must be urgently restored, and more must be done to address the root causes of conflict and prevent escalation of violence.

A total of US$207 million in humanitarian funding to the CAR was pledged by donors at a special meeting held last month in Brussels.

As of this week, 28 per cent of the pledges have been committed or disbursed, amounting to US$57.5 million.

OCHA also added that the US$551 million Strategic Response Plan for CAR was just 13 per cent funded.

Thousands of people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict in CAR, which erupted when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels launched attacks in December 2012, This has taken on increasingly sectarian overtones as mainly Christian militias known as anti-balaka (anti-machete) have taken up arms.

Earlier this week, the UN human rights office warned that the security situation in the capital of Bangui continued to deteriorate, with targeted assassinations and rising violence and criminality on the streets.

Pana 14/02/2014