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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 11 March 2014

EU provides €4 million to help refugees fleeing violence in Central African Republic

The European Commission will provide life-saving assistance to a hundred thousand victims of the violence in Central African Republic (CAR) who have been forced to flee to Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon.

The funding comes from the Commission's support of €45 million to CAR since the escalation of the crisis in December 2013. It will help the most vulnerable people seeking to meet their basic humanitarian needs including shelter, food, health, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene. Half of the funding will be spent in Chad, which is facing the biggest influx.

"Central Africans may have found some respite from the appalling violence in their country but, even so, their suffering continues in neighbouring countries. There is currently little prospect of them being able to return home and they urgently need our help just to survive their ordeal, " said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

"With the rainy season on its way, we are bound to face a much more critical humanitarian situation unless the international community does more to support these innocent people now. And it is absolutely essential that all Central Africans who have been forced to flee their homes are given a chance to return safely – in particular the many Muslims who have had to flee the inter-religious violence of recent months."

The on-going crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) has already forced more than 188 000 people to take refuge in neighbouring countries. At least 87 000 refugees and returnees have arrived in Chad, 62 000 in Democratic Republic of Congo, 27 000 in Cameroon and 12 500 in Republic of Congo. They all need humanitarian assistance.

Background

The Central African Republic ranks among the world's poorest countries and has been embroiled in a decade-long armed conflict. The surge of violence in December 2013 exacerbated this situation and today more than half of the 4.6-million-strong population is in need of immediate aid. More than 650 000 people have been internally displaced, 230 000 in the capital Bangui alone.

The EU is the largest provider of relief assistance to the country, with €76 million in 2013. Humanitarian aid from the European Commission tripled last year to €39 million. The Commission has organised humanitarian airlifts to get relief supplies and personnel into the country. A team of European humanitarian experts is there monitoring the situation and working closely with partner organizations to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.

For more information

Central African Republic factsheet:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/car_en.pdf

The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

Contacts :

David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)

Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e-mail


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