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Brussels, 1 December 2008

Central African Republic: Commission provides €6 million in humanitarian aid

The European Commission has allocated €6 million in humanitarian aid to help around 200,000 displaced people and other vulnerable civilians in the north of the Central African Republic (CAR). Despite some recent political progress, the situation in the north of the country has not allowed for a significant improvement of the humanitarian situation over the past year. In addition to the nearly 200.000 people internally displaced, some 98,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries (Chad, Cameroon and Sudan). There are also around 2.600 refugees from Darfur in the north-east of the CAR.

Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: "The European Commission continues to provide humanitarian assistance to around 200.000 vulnerable people in the Central African Republic to limit the terrible suffering of so many uprooted families. However, both the Commission and the Government of the Central African Republic are aware that the solution to the problems lies not in emergency humanitarian aid but in securing a negotiated peace, better governance and long-term development."
Relief assistance will be provided to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs. However, interventions will, as far as possible, focus on areas and sectors earmarked for future reconstruction and development under the European Development Fund.

In 2007, the Commission provided humanitarian aid worth €8m to vulnerable people in the CAR.[1] All humanitarian funds are channelled through the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. The projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement. ECHO recently set up a field office in Bangui to closely follow developments in the humanitarian situation, to play an active role in the local coordination of relief efforts and to monitor the use of the Commission's relief funds.

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[1] In addition, it has provided €15.5 million funding under the Peace Facility for Africa for the regional peace keeping mission FOMUC/Force Multinationale en Centrafrique (see IP/07/1425).

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