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CAR: UN expert calls for urgent protection and increase in humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons

GENEVA (8 January 2014) – The international community should urgently provide adequate resources to cope with the protection and assistance needs of a large and growing number of persons displaced by violence in the Central African Republic, a United Nations human rights expert has warned today. 

“The number of displaced persons has increased dramatically over the past few weeks, and immediate access by humanitarian agencies, including to those sheltering in the airport in Bangui, must be granted without delay,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani.

Close to a million people have been internally displaced in the country, according to the latest figures from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which include over half a million in the capital, representing two thirds of Bangui’s population.

“I welcome the efforts made by the humanitarian agencies to address the dire conditions of internally displaced persons in the Central African Republic, but the international community’s response to protect and assist those fleeing the violence, especially women, children, and those with disabilities needs to be strengthened,” Mr. Beyani noted.

“The flare-up of crises elsewhere should not affect the scale of the response which is urgently needed in the Central African Republic,” the independent expert stressed. “Humanitarian agencies urgently need extra resources to provide for the basic needs of those displaced from their homes.”

Chaloka Beyani, professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Ms. Marie-Eve Friedrich (+41 22 917 9713 / idp@ohchr.org)

UN Human Rights, country page – Central African Republic: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CFIndex.aspx

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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