Title: جمهورية أفريقيا الوسطى تواجه خطر أزمة إنسانية
Author: Biraima M Adam
Date: 04-04-2007, 08:07 PM
جمهورية أفريقيا الوسطى تواجه خطر أزمة إنسانية
أكثر من مليون مواطن يهجرون منازلهم من أصل 4 مليون نسمة بسبب الحروب الدائرة فى المنطقة ومن بينها مشكلة إقليم دارفور .. الخبر صدر فى رويتر.
|Quote: Central African Republic faces disaster - UN|
Wed Apr 4, 2007 10:21AM EDT
By Robert Evans
GENEVA, April 4 (Reuters) - The Central African Republic faces a growing humanitarian disaster, with the lives of a quarter of its people disrupted by civil and regional warfare, the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said on Wednesday.
Although the United Nations appealed in January for richer countries to provide $11.7 million to fund basic health, schooling and water programmes in the impoverished country, only $2.5 million has been pledged so far, the agency said.
"The situation is critical. There is a real humanitarian disaster in the making," the agency's newly appointed chief representative in the republic, Mahimbo Mdoe, told a news conference in Geneva.
"This is a moment when the CAR needs concerted assistance on a major scale," said Mdoe, a Tanzanian citizen who has wide experience in humanitarian relief operations in Africa.
UNICEF said the north of the country, near the border with similarly troubled Sudan and Chad, was engulfed in a growing conflict between government forces and various rebel groups.
More than 1 million people -- of a total national population of 4 million -- were affected by the fighting, Mdoe said, the product of national problems but also a spinoff from Sudan's Darfur crisis.
Figures issued by UNICEF, which focuses on helping children but also plays a wider humanitarian role in poorer countries, showed nearly 300,000 people have been driven from their homes because of conflict.
Of these, 212,000 are in temporary shelter inside the Republic while some 70,000 more have fled across borders into Chad and Sudan, despite similar fighting in both between government and insurgent groups, and into Cameroon.
RAPE, CHILD FIGHTERS
Studies indicated that some 15 percent of the adult female population in the north have been raped, contributing to a surge in HIV/AIDS. UNICEF said medical supplies and equipment were running short across the country.
Young boys are increasingly being recruited into fighting forces in the north, while overall some 450 children die each week across the republic's northern region from malnutrition and preventable disease, Mdoe said.
"When you drive through burned out villages, you can see boys standing around with guns -- many of them hunting rifles," he added. Youngsters appeared to be recruited into local community units, as well as by fighting groups.
The republic, the world's sixth-poorest nation according to U.N. figures, has suffered decades of instability and a series of military coups.
Current President Francois Bozize seized power in a coup in 2003 before legitimising his rule at the ballot box in 2005.
Last week, Prime Minister Elie Dote told Reuters the government planned to issue a bond on a new regional bourse later this year to raise funds to boost the ailing economy and help curb insecurity.
Throughout the Republic, only 51 percent of children were enrolled in schools, with only 47 percent of girls attending. But in the north the situation was even worse with over 75 percent having no access to education at all.
"Only 39 per cent of the (national) population has access to safe drinking water and 25 percent have access to sanitation facilities. The situation is even more acute in the northern conflict zones," a briefing paper from the agency said.