On August 11, the United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund allocated $13.2 million to humanitarian efforts in the Central African Republic (CAR) in order to provide much needed life-saving aid to those affected by the ongoing conflict in the African country.

The funds will go toward supporting local humanitarian aid agencies that provide clean drinking water, access to education and healthcare, food, protection, and shelter to vulnerable and displaced people. Though the amount of funds will provide some people with necessary help, it is not nearly what is needed to be able to provide aid for the entire population in need.

“Thanks to donors who have contributed in 2015, this CHF allocation allows humanitarian partners to continue helping thousands of displaced people and host families,” said Aurélien Agbénonci, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in the African country. “However, it is only three percent of the $415 million we still need by the end of the year if we are to save more lives and reach all people in acute need in 2015.”

The Civil War in the Central African Republic between the Muslim Séléka alliance and the anti-Balaka militias with CAR government forces, which are predominantly Christian, began at the end of 2012 and has claimed many civilian lives and displaced many more. Additionally, the Lord’s Resistance Army continues operations within the southeastern region of the country.

According to the United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of June 2015, there are about 463,400 refugees from the Central African Republic, and 368,900 internally displaced people. In total, OCHA concludes that there are presently 2.7 million people in the Central African Republic who are in critical need of humanitarian aid.

Unfortunately, the CAR is reportedly “one of the most difficult and dangerous environments in the world for aid workers.” On July 22, the UN condemned a surge of violence against aid workers along with the July 18 attack on a World Food Program food convoy which left a driver dead.

It is crucial that international humanitarian aid organizations continue to demonstrate their commitment to aiding those in need. The UN’s latest allocation of funds, though not sufficient to provide for every single victim, sent the right message. Aid organizations must never falter in the effort to protect and preserve the lives of innocent civilians, even in the face of danger.

Jaime Longoria

Sources: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN News Centre 1, UN News Centre 2
Photo: UN News Centre