Two million euros for emergency aid in Central African Republic

Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, is releasing two million euros for emergency aid in the Central African Republic. Continuing fighting in the country means that 2.6 million people are depending on emergency aid to survive.

‘Last week,' said Ms Ploumen, 'I spoke with the Archbishop of Bangui, who is travelling around the country with the Grand Imam, calling on the warring parties to resolve their differences peacefully. His account, like other reports we've received, shows that ordinary citizens are suffering gravely amid the violence.’

Some 900,000 people, a fifth of the population, have become displaced. Since Christmas, their number has grown rapidly. Many have sought shelter in the capital, Bangui. Their most urgent requirements are food, shelter, and medical assistance. 152 million euros are required immediately to alleviate the most acute distress.

The Dutch contribution will be channelled via the United Nations, which is coordinating emergency aid and finding out where it is required most urgently. The Netherlands is not the only country to have promised aid at today's meeting of ECHO, the European Commission's humanitarian aid office. Other countries, both within and outside the EU, are doing the same.

As well as providing emergency aid, the scope is also being examined for assisting reconciliation projects in the Central African Republic. Proposals to this end are currently being developed.