Three months after Seleka forces seized power in Central African Republic, the country is in the grip of a humanitarian emergency while the international community looks on with indifference, warned the international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). (pdf) Central African Republic was plunged into chaos by the coup, and the country remains politically unstable. Citing lack of security, UN agencies and many non-governmental organizations have withdrawn to the capital, leaving the majority of the country without aid. According to a report by MSF, released today, the people of the country have effectively been abandoned just when they most need help.
During the Seleka offensive, hospitals and health centres were ransacked and medical staff fled. Without doctors, medicines or medical supplies, the majority of people in Central African Republic have no access to healthcare. Even before the coup, the country was in crisis, with mortality rates well above the emergency threshold in several regions. Malnutrition and preventable diseases are rife, while malaria is the leading cause of death. MSF teams are seeing alarming numbers of malaria cases, which are 33 per cent higher than the same period last year.
Funding is also an issue. Of the total funds requested in March 2013 by UN agencies and non-governmental organisations to face the current crisis in Central African Republic, so far just 31 per cent has been disbursed.
MSF calls on the international community – including the UN, the European Union and the African Union – to keep Central African Republic at the top of their agendas and to support this fragile country.
Excerpt, Central African Republic: Abandoned to its fate?Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), July 9, 2013