Four international aid agencies have temporarily suspended operations in the Central African Republic.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) the four agencies halted their work due to attacks on aid workers by armed groups in the nothern part of the country.
Solidarités International, Intersos, Danish Church Aid, and Person in Need Relief Mission will withdraw their staff to the capital, Bangui, while other aid groups decided to scale back to focus only on life-saving operations, OCHA said.
It is one of the most dangerous and difficult countries for humanitarian work particularly in the nothern prefecture of Ouham...This temporary withdrawal will certainly have an impact on many people who depend on aid
“It is one of the most dangerous and difficult countries for humanitarian work particularly in the nothern prefecture of Ouham, OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said. Adding that there had been a recent concentration on attacks against aid workers.
“This temporary withdrawal will certainly have an impact on many people who depend on aid.”
The World Food Programme (WFP) and other aid groups on Thursday issued a warning that the Central African Republic may be sliding back into conflict as resurging violence deepens.
This withdrawal is expected to further exacerbate a dire humanitarian crisis where half of the country’s population require humanitarian assistance as more than two million people remain hungry and one in every five is either internally displaced or a refugee in neighbouring countries.
The country’s humanitarian response plan for 2017 continues to shrink as only 12 percent of the requested $400 million has only been funded to date, making it among the world’s most forgotten crises.
Despite holding a democratic election won by President Faustin-Archange Touadera who was sworn in on March 2016, violence continues to escalate.
Central African Republic has been plagued by conflict since March 2013, when mainly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering reprisals by Christian “anti-balaka” militias.
The Seleka and other groups have since splintered, prompting further violence.