“The situation in the Central African Republic is critical. More than half of the population is in urgent need of protection and humanitarian assistance. The Government has therefore decided to provide a further NOK 60 million in humanitarian assistance to the country,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
The security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is precarious following a marked escalation of the crisis towards the end of 2013. Of a population of 4.6 million, as many as 2.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. More than 710 000 persons have been internally displaced and over 250 000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the UN. The humanitarian community in CAR is requesting US$551.5 million to humanitarian assistance, but so far only 13 % of this sum has been provided.
“There are alarming reports of killings and violence against civilians in the Central African Republic. It is important that the international community does everything in its power to ensure that the civilian population receives protection and access to humanitarian assistance. All parties to the conflict are obliged under international humanitarian law to ensure that the much-needed aid reaches those who need it,” Mr Brende said.
Earlier this month, the Government provided NOK 6 million to support the African-led International Support Mission to the CAR (MISCA). The new allocation of NOK 60 million will be channelled through organisations already operating in the country that can deliver assistance to people in need, including the UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières.
In 2013, Norway provided a total of NOK 58.3 million to alleviate the humanitarian suffering in the CAR. Norway will continue to follow the situation closely and will maintain a close dialogue with key organisations that are working to provide humanitarian assistance, including addressing the needs of the most vulnerable groups such as children, women and people with disabilities.
The situation is still out of control, as Christian militiamen hunt down Muslims in the country.
Religious violence across the Central African Republic (CAR) is forcing Muslims out of the country. Aid agencies are now warning that an exodus of Muslim traders and cattle-herders could lead to catastrophic famine and economic collapse, according to the Economist.
The magazine reports that traders have mostly left as there is little security at the markets, the cattle-herders have fled to the bush so there is very little meat, making it extremely expensive to buy.
Less than a quarter of the wholesalers who import food from neighbouring countries remain in Bangui, according to aid agencies. Attacks on Muslims may encourage the rest to flee. According to the UN, 1.3m of the country’s 4.6m people need food aid urgently.