IRC Sends Emergency Team to Central African Republic as Violence in the Region Spreads
“The situation for people in the northeast is dire and the worsening insecurity makes reaching them with humanitarian aid extremely difficult,” says Bob Kitchen, who is leading the IRC’s emergency mission.
The team is traveling to the capital, Bangui, and as soon as possible, will head to Birao, where the population is caught in the crossfire of fighting between Central African Republic soldiers and various rebel groups. Compounding the situation are the raging civil conflicts in nearby Chad and Darfur, Sudan.
For the communities in the northeast, the impact is grave and alarming. Some 70,000 people are said to have fled into Chad and Cameroon and 150,000 are displaced in Central African Republic and in desperate need of help. Villages and farms have been scorched and many people have no shelter. Malnutrition rates are reportedly soaring and people with no access to clinics and clean water are succumbing to preventable diseases.
“Our team, which includes health, water and sanitation experts, will be looking at pressing problems and gaps in aid” says Kitchen. “We hope to launch needed services as soon as we can.”