March 27, 2013 – Los Angeles, Calif. – Violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues following a rebel-led seizure of the capital city, Bangui. International Medical Corps, in coordination with the United Nations (UN) and other non-governmental organizations, is planning to conduct a multi-sectoral assessment to determine the extent of humanitarian needs.
The Seleka coalition, following clashes with CAR and foreign military forces, gained full control over the capital on March 23, as President Bozize fled the country. Bangui remains insecure, with no power supply and weak phone connectivity. As security allows, International Medical Corps will work to address humanitarian needs identified in the assessment with particular focus on health care.
Poor road infrastructure in and around Bangui and rebel blockades have further impeded the delivery of essential supplies to already difficult to reach areas outside the capital. International Medical Corps is greatly concerned that the risk of food insecurity will increase as the country is further destabilized and supplies run low. Having operated in CAR since 2007, International Medical Corps teams are continuing basic health and nutrition service delivery in Bambari, Triningulu, Sekekede, Bria and Birao. The organization is coordinating with the UN to secure transportation of supplies so that the provision of basic services can continue in these areas.
International Medical Corps’ global security team is monitoring the situation closely and ensuring the utmost safety of staff. With significant humanitarian needs already in the country and the likelihood of civilians experiencing greater hardship as a result of the fighting, International Medical Corps hopes for a swift cessation of violence so that critically-needed relief to vulnerable populations can be implemented.
International Medical Corps began working in CAR primarily in the insecure northern and eastern provinces. Today, the organization’s services include maternal and child health care, child protection, nutrition services, HIV/AIDS prevention, health education, gender-based violence prevention and response, and hygiene promotion activities.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.