CAR crisis remains dire - and neglected
CAR crisis remains dire - and neglected IRIN
IRIN on Friday, June 7, 2013
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International neglect of the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) is partly to blame for the dire humanitarian and security situation there, say officials. The crisis affects the country’s entire population of 4.6 million and has left tens of thousands in need of emergency shelter, healthcare and food aid.

“The Central African Republic continues to suffer from international indifference. Its crisis is seen as a domestic crisis with some regional overspills, but less of a threat to international peace and security than Somalia, Sahel or Eastern [Democratic Republic of] Congo,” Alex Vines, head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, told IRIN.

For decades, CAR has been characterized by humanitarian need and unstable governance. The past government of President François Bozizé came into power through a coup in March 2003. A decade later, on 24 March 2013, Bozizé was forced to flee a coup d’état by the Séléka rebel coalition.

This latest crisis has left 206,000 people internally displaced. It also forced tens of thousands to flee as refugees to Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Vines notes, “The challenge is to establish the conditions for credible elections, when robust institutions are lacking and international donors [are] mostly disinterested due to higher priorities elsewhere.”

Funding for humanitarian assistance in CAR, for example, remains low despite the growing needs there. The humanitarian appeal of $139 million is under-funded, at 31 percent, according to a 4 June statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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