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Member since: Wed May 4, 2005, 12:01 PM
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Central African Republic Needs Humanitarian Help Urgently

...On March 24, members of the rebel coalition, known as the Séléka, overthrew President François Bozizé. A week later, representatives of various warring factions attempted to put together a government, but former opposition parties boycotted it. A transitional parliament is now in place with the hope of holding national elections within 18 months, but it has very little control over security. Meanwhile, the Séléka has intentionally destroyed at least 34 towns and villages since February.

Even before the current crisis, the Central African Republic was suffering from severely inadequate health care. There were less than three doctors for every 100,000 people, and life expectancy was about 48 years. The mortality rate for children under five years old was 17.2%, and one out of every 27 women with children would die due to pregnancy complications. 40% of the population did not have access to safe drinking water, and only 1/3 of children were vaccinated against diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, and measles.

I understand that international organizations have to pull out when a country’s security situation becomes so severe that workers are under serious threat, or supply chains get blocked. However, the Red Cross and MSF are, still, in the Central African Republic, and if American religious and non-religious NGOs make a major push now, then it is still possible to rebuild the food and medical delivery services throughout the country, and prevent what could become an even worse humanitarian catastrophe.


The transitional government has turned out to be anarchy. Instead of providing security they have destroyed the country's weak institutions and engaged in killing civilians and all kinds of atrocities. Many humanitarian agencies have left in fear for their safety while others plead for help from the rest of the world. But there are many agencies ready and willing to help if the funding and security are available.

The international community has largely turned its back on this poor landlocked nation "The entire population of 4.6 million people is affected by the crisis. Half of those are children," said Valerie Amos, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "The humanitarian needs are huge and increasing, with 1.6 million people in need of assistance," she added. She has called for the international community to turn its attention to Central African Republic.

The European Union has responded. The United States needs to respond.

Please sign the petition asking President Obama to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic: wh.gov/la845
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