UNICEF has distributed emergency medical supplies to hospitals in Bangui following clashes in recent days that have left hundreds dead and thousands more displaced.
“Every day, we are seeing more and more children injured and killed at the hospital,” said UNICEF Central African Republic Representative Souleymane Diabate. “Children in the Central African Republic, both Muslim and Christians, are not safe. They are in danger of being injured or killed in their homes, in their communities, and even at displacement sites. This is totally unacceptable.”
As of Monday morning, the local Red Cross had reported close to 400 people killed, including three children, since last Thursday. Preliminary reports collated by UNICEF have identified about 30 children with bullet or machete wounds at the Community Hospital and Paediatric Centre in Bangui.
On Saturday, two days after clashes broke out in Bangui, UNICEF provided essential medical supplies sufficient for 3,000 people to the Community Hospital, where most injured people are being treated.On Sunday, UNICEF teams distributed emergency health supplies sufficient for 1,000 children to the Bangui Pediatric Centre, the only children’s hospital in the country, where many child victims have been admitted. Clothing has also been provided child survivors, and rooms at have been equipped with electric fans with UNICEF support.
“It’s the first time that something like this happened to me, to us”, said Kelley, 17, who is being treated at the hospital for a gun shot to the chest, sustained while he was walking to school last Thursday. “I’m worried for my family, my friends, and my country.”Wherever security and access permit in Bangui and elsewhere in the country, UNICEF and its humanitarian partners are scaling up activities to provide violence-affected families with emergency assistance.
A UNICEF humanitarian cargo flight with emergency health kits, nutrition supplies and other life-saving items for 3,000 families is expected to arrive in Bangui in the next few days.As at end-November, UNICEF had received less than half of the funds required to cover humanitarian needs for 2013. UNICEF is appealing for US $46 million to respond to crisis-affected children in the Central African Republic for 2014.
Note to Editors:
UNICEF has been present in Central African Republic since 1968. Today UNICEF has 150 staff members with offices in Bangui, Bossongoa, Kaga Bandoro and soon in Bambari, and mobile teams in Bossangoa and Kaga Bandoro. In 2013, UNICEF and its partners vaccinated more than 480,000 children under five against measles. More than 47,000 displaced people –especially in Bossangoa— received blankets, plastic sheeting, soap and jerry cans provided by UNICEF. About 84,000 people have now access to safe water.In fear for their lives, some 60,000 people, mainly women and children, fled their homes and have sought refuge in more than 20 sites around Bangui. Thousands of displaced families are still in urgent need of access to shelter, safe water, sanitation, protection food and emergency health services, and are at high risk of deadly diseases said UNICEF teams on the ground.
For more information please contact Rose Foley,UNICEF UK Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com / Tel: +44 (0)20 7375 6077 or +44 (0)20 7375 6030
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