Press release

UK boosts humanitarian aid for victims of conflict in Central African Republic

The UK government will provide lifesaving aid to tens of thousands of people facing a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.

A new £7 million package of aid will help UN agencies and charities step up humanitarian support to people in desperate need in CAR or neighbouring Cameroon where many have fled.

The new funding includes:

  • £3 million to the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR to help CAR refugees in Cameroon, providing aid supplies such as clean water, medicine, and shelter to the 130,000 refugees who have arrived since 2013.
  • £4 million for the UN’s Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) which enables aid agencies and charities on the ground to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs. In 2014, UK funding to the CHF helped provide lifesaving aid such as emergency healthcare, water and sanitation and protection to more than 40,000 people.

International Development Minister Grant Shapps said:

The humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic is escalating by the day. More than a million people have been forced from their homes and in the past week fighting in the capital Bangui has left scores dead and hundreds more injured.

The UK has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response to this conflict, getting lifesaving medicine, food and clean water to people in desperate need inside the Central African Republic and in neighbouring countries such as Cameroon and Chad.

By meeting urgent humanitarian needs in the region we can tackle the root causes of instability and migration which affect us here in the UK.

This new funding brings the UK’s humanitarian support in CAR to £25 million this year, making Britain the world’s second largest bilateral humanitarian donor to the crisis in 2015 after the United States.

Since fighting broke out in March 2013, the UK has provided £58 million in humanitarian aid to respond to the conflict in CAR. This is providing emergency food aid, clean water and sanitation, healthcare, shelter and livelihoods support to over 800,000 people inside the country and in neighbouring countries.

The conflict has left almost two thirds of people in the Central African Republic in need of humanitarian assistance. Around 400,000 people are still internally displaced and 464,000 have fled to Cameroon, Chad, the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The violence is increasing across the country, particularly in the capital Bangui where it is estimated that at least 40 people have been killed and 200 injured in recent fighting. At least 42,000 people have been displaced by the latest surge in violence.

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