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UNICEF estimates 1.2m children in need of humanitarian assistance in CAR


UNICEFThe UN Childrens’ Emergency Fund (UNICEF) says an estimated 1.2 million children are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance in the Central African Republic (CAR).

According to a statement from the agency on Monday in New York, UNICEF’s Representative in the CAR, Mohamed Fall, said: “the violence that has plagued this country has had a devastating impact on the lives of children.’’

It stated that to meet the overwhelming humanitarian needs, access to greater international support was essential.

According to UNICEF estimates, no fewer than two million children have been affected by the violence which first broke out in December 2012 and which reached crisis levels in December 2013.

It stated that about 400,000 people remained displaced within the country and renewed clashes in September created an additional 39,000 internally displaced people in Bangui.

It added that a further half a million people were living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

UNICEF said that insecurity and underfunding had continued to put urgent life saving activities at risk.

Meanwhile attacks on humanitarian convoys threatened the deployment of relief supplies to the interior of the country.

UNICEF then called on all parties to the conflict to grant unrestricted access to organisations seeking to assist those affected by the crisis.

The agency said that even in areas that were not affected by the conflict, communities continued to need support, with nearly one third of the population having no access to safe drinking water.

It stated that another 41 per cent of children under five were malnourished.

The agency said that of the required 70.9 million dollars in funds required to provide urgent lifesaving interventions for the most vulnerable in 2015, UNICEF only received 37 million dollars.

This, it added, was just over 50 per cent of the required amount, in spite of the scale of the emergency.

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