Caritas Internationalis Calls For Increase in Aid for CAR Refugees

Says Agencies Will Be Unable to Meet Basic Needs for Those Fleeing Violence

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A Caritas Internationalis representative warned the UN that refugees from the Central African Republic will suffer if aid isn’t increased this year.

Mgsr. Robert J Vitillo,thehead of Caritas Internationalis’ delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, the aid agency perspective at the launch of the Inter-Agency Central African Republic Regional Refugee Response, sponsored by the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Geneva last week.

“If more funding is not made available during this current year, aid agencies will not be able to meet the basic needs of the refugees and, even less so, will they be able to facilitate development among these people,» Msgr. Vitillo said.

The overall budget for the plan amounts to $331 million, but NGOs will receive US$14 million to support their respective programs to help refugees from CAR.

Msgr. Vitillo said planning should take into account the care provided by NGOs and that organizations should receive an equitable share of funding made available by international donors.

Nearly 190,000 people have fled the Central African Republic since the Anti-Balaka militia overran the capital Bangui in December 2013. Before that, more than 230,000 people already had fled, bringing the total number of refugees from the Central African Republic to some 425,000. Many are in Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In these countries, Caritas has been providing training programs for the refugees as well as education, agricultural supplies and equipment, clean water, sanitation and food assistance.

Msgr. Vitillo also urged the international community to support to those who have fled their homes but remained within CAR.

There the Catholic Church has been providing humanitarian help to displaced people in need through Caritas among others, but the complex environment makes this emergency work very difficult.

“It’s vital to ensure adequate attention to needs of people in CAR, also with a view toward accompanying them as they struggle to achieve dignity and remain in their homeland,” he said.

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On ZENIT’s website:

For the full text of Msgr. Vitillo’s address, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/msgr-robert-j-vitillo-s-address-to-the-unhcr

On the Web:

For more information on Caritas Internationalis, go to: http://www.caritas.org/

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