Distributing aid in crisis torn CAR

by Danish Refugee Council | Danish Refugee Council (DRC) - Denmark
Friday, 17 January 2014 12:09 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Lootings and lynching incidents continues in several neighborhoods of the capital Bangui following the resignation of the president of The Central African Republic last Friday. Despite the unstable situation, the Danish Refugee Council is distributing emergency relief in more of the camps where the internally displaced have sought refuge.

Michael Djotodia resigned as president of The Central African Republic (CAR) last Friday, a position he gained from a coup d’état in the month of March, 2013. The last days there have been fewer shootings at night in Bangui but the situation remains insecure and tense – not least outside the capital. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) has among other things been responsible for distributing 200 tons of food to more than 25,000 people in Don Bosco camp in Bangui. At the same time, DRC is assessing which other camps the organization should get involved in to ensure that the distributions will reach the highest number of people in need.

"We have made so great assessments that we have been able to distribute emergency relief in a very responsible and timely manner. This has been to ensure that the aid was given to the people most on need instead of for instance risking a group of young men with machetes would run with it," says Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen, head of Emergency and Safety in the Danish Refugee Council. He explains that DRC is planning to help 100.000 internally displaced in five different camps in Bangui.

It is still very hard to predict what the resignation of the president will mean for the humanitarian needs – but DRC hopes that there will be more stability in the long run and that the humanitarian situation will be better for the one million internally displaced – and the rest of the population who are in need.

"We fear that the situation will deteriorate in the short run but off course hope that it can contribute to more peace and stability in the longer run. Right now the humanitarian needs are growing every day and we are doing everything we can to ensure that as many people as possible get assistance,” says Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen.

Right now a plane is in Nairobi packed with NFI kits, communication equipment and other stuff ready to border one of the next days. DRC’s Division for Emergency, Safety and Supply has acted by sending extra staff to CAR and additional emergency relief to the crisis torn country. It includes food, kitchen supply, hygiene equipment and blankets.

DRC has worked in CAR since 2007 upon request by UN, DRC works with protection of the many displaced persons. Additionally, DRC works to improve the living conditions of the population by supplying food, drinking water and proper sanitary installments. DRC also works on rehabilitating the educational system