Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

£5m to aid Central African Republic

Lynne Featherstone said a five million pound aid package would offer 'a lifeline' to people in the Central African Republic
Lynne Featherstone said a five million pound aid package would offer 'a lifeline' to people in the Central African Republic

Britain is to send £5 million in aid in a bid to ease an "appalling humanitarian situation" caused by what the United Nations has dubbed a forgotten crisis in the Central African Republic.

The UK's money will be spent to boost healthcare for 250,000 people, improve access to water and sanitation for 100,000 and offer 50,000 of the country's most vulnerable people emergency food aid.

Humanitarian flights will also be funded to help ensure aid workers can reach the most remote areas, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said.

The Central African Republic's (CAR) 4.6 million population was left reeling in March after a coup ousted President Bozize.

Ms Featherstone said: "The appalling humanitarian situation in the CAR has affected every man, woman and child in the country. Hundreds of thousands of people have been left without a home or basic services like health, water and education.

"Britain will not look the other way while millions of the world's most vulnerable people are suffering. This support will provide a lifeline to the people of CAR, helping them to rebuild after months of violence."

The aid money is to be allocated to the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service and other international NGOs.

Fighting has ravaged CAR since late 2012 and the current conflict followed a longer conflict between 2004 and 2007.

The coup in March was instigated by the Selega rebels, who have been accused of serious human rights abuses.

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