Last week, we posited that the Central African Republic was arguably the most forgotten humanitarian emergency on the planet; or, at least it was the one with the weakest response relative to the urgency of the crisis.
The latest “situation report” from the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs offers evidence to support this claim.
CAR is a small country with big problems. Of a population of about 4.6 million, 1.6 million are in need of some form of assistance. Nearly 400,000 people are internally displaced by violence. According to the OCHA, measles outbreaks are reported almost everywhere in the country, with at least 600 confirmed measles cases. According to the Health cluster, there is a cholera outbreak in 15 out of the 22 health districts.
But, despite these massive challenges, the latest report from OCHA says that of a $195 million request from humanitarian agencies to deal with these challenges, only 40% has been received. That means shortages of medicines, latrines, and everything else you can imagine would be necessary to respond to an emergency.
The CAR is landlocked country in the middle of Africa, one of the poorest in the world and strategically insignificant to the world’s great powers. But those facts should not deter donors from stepping up and doing what they can to help provide for the basic needs of people caught in conflict.