Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "Today, there are 2.8 million Central Africans in need of humanitarian assistance and protection – nearly 60% of the Country’s population... Increasing violations by armed groups are creating new displacements and humanitarian needs. And, of course, all of this is exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19", said United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mark Lowcock, two months before the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for next December in the Central African Republic.
The senior UN official deplored the security situation in the country, which puts the work of humanitarian workers at risk, recalling that "In the first nine months of this year alone, two humanitarian colleagues died and 21 were injured in incidents".
As the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), scheduled for mid-October by the Security Council, approaches, Lowcock called on member States to "continue to give priority to the protection of civilians in their commitments in the Central African Republic, given the numerous risks and dynamics of conflicts in the Country and in the region in general".
Lowcock said that the Sate is still struggling to deliver basic social services (health, education, etc.), which means that humanitarian agencies have to continue to fill the gaps.
"While these activities do provide a lifeline to the population, I think it will be very good to see a change in support from development partners to improve service delivery and also to see investment in critical infrastructure", said Lowcock who thanked the countries for their generous contributions to the Humanitarian Response Plan which is trying to raise US$553 million dollars. We’ve raised a little more than half of the money so far this year.
In their pastoral letter of 6 September (see Fides, 7/9/2020) the Central African Bishops denounced the presence of armed groups that threaten the future of the Country. "We note with bitterness that 70% or even 80% of our Country is occupied by armed groups, some of which are led by the most ferocious mercenaries", said the Bishops in denouncing the crimes committed against the populations of different areas of the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/10/2020)