The international community must commit more support to the worsening situation in the Central African Republic, UK International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone has urged as Britain provides seeds, farming tools and protection for people affected by the crisis.
The UK’s extra support comes ahead of donors discussing the conflict and humanitarian crisis at the EU-Africa Summit in Brussels on 2-4 April.
“The situation in the Central African Republic is growing ever more desperate, and the international community must do more to help the men, women and children affected.
“Britain is taking a leading role and we have just pledged further lifesaving aid. Working with key partners like France, we will not look the other way while millions of vulnerable people suffer.”
The new £6 million of funding brings the UK’s total direct contribution to £18 million in 2014, additional to funds already committed through the EU and UN, and will help:
Address the hunger crisis by giving the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) £4 million for seeds and tools to boost agricultural production across the country during the important planting season between March and May.
Protect vulnerable people by giving the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) £2 million to track and report back on the communities at imminent risk of violence and exploitation, including protecting women and girls from sexual violence.
Despite pledges of €150 million in humanitarian aid and €200 million for development and stabilisation, only 22 per cent of the CAR appeal is funded, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Since December 2013, at least 2,000 people have been killed in CAR. Over 900,000 Central Africans have fled their homes as a result of this crisis with an estimated 600,000 people displaced across the country.
A further 300,000 people have fled as refugees to the neighbouring countries of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Chad, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Sudan.
Cameroon is coping with the largest influx of people with 145,000 having crossed the border. Chad has received over 83,000 refugees and over 62,000 have crossed to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).