A man holds a Central African flag during a traders' demonstration near the presidential palace (seen in the background) in Bangui January 5, 2013. The U.N. Security Council voiced alarm on Friday at an advance by rebels in Central African Republic that has brought them within striking distance of the mineral-rich nation's capital, and renewed its call for a negotiated solution to the crisis. Credits: REUTERS/Luc Gnago courtesy of AlertNet.org

A man holds a Central African flag during a traders’ demonstration near the presidential palace (seen in the background) in Bangui January 5, 2013. The U.N. Security Council voiced alarm on Friday at an advance by rebels in Central African Republic that has brought them within striking distance of the mineral-rich nation’s capital, and renewed its call for a negotiated solution to the crisis.
Credits: REUTERS/Luc Gnago courtesy of AlertNet.org

Caritas is launching an appeal for funds to help communities in the Central African Republic who are still reeling from attacks on towns and communities by rebels.

The rebel forces started to advance in northeastern CAR in December 2012 and nearly brought about the fall of the capital Bangui. A ceasefire was agreed in January but the situation remains precarious.

The UN has condemned the use of child soldiers, rape, sexual slavery and the killing and maiming of civilians in the country. The threat of violence has meant that many people have left their homes. Meanwhile, some staff working for CORDAID (Caritas Netherlands) in Bangui were evacuated earlier this month.

“Once more people of the Central African Republic, women, children and young people in particular, have found themselves facing distress, famine and cut off from access to healthcare and hygiene facilities,” said Archbishop Dieudonné Nzapalainga, president of Caritas Central African Republic.

Caritas is asking for US$635,000 (468,000 euro) for a six-month programme that will start in February. The programme will focus on providing families with food and other items, medical and psychological support as well as improving infrastructure and livelihoods.

Around 850 families in need (over 4000 people) will receive basic health kits and household items.

Up to 5000 people who have been uprooted in the unrest and are ill or injured will be given healthcare. Pregnant women and small children will be vaccinated against measles and meningitis and will receive mosquito nets to protect against malaria.

Caritas will train representatives in each community to give vaccines, spot signs of malnutrition and give emergency first aid. Women who have suffered sexual violence will receive counselling and psychological support from Caritas.

A wide-ranging infrastructure project will see Caritas repair wells, food banks, schools and latrines. In order to help people regain some autonomy following the disruption to their lives, Caritas will provide families with seeds and tools so they can start farming again.

Read a story about the staff’s evacuation. 

For further information please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 6987 9752 or +39 334 234 4136