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Central African Republic: Humanitarian situation remains critical

04-04-2013 Operational Update

Since clashes erupted in Bangui on 23-24 March, hospitals in the capital have admitted over 200 injured patients. Despite the unstable security situation, the ICRC and the Central African Red Cross Society are striving to provide emergency aid, in particular to keep hospitals running.

"Even though relative calm has returned to the city, things are nowhere near back to normal for the people who live here," said Georgios Georgantas, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangui. "Water and electricity are now being provided on a more regular basis, but all public services have still not been completely restored. ICRC staff are back at work, but the need for security for our personnel and our facilities is as urgent as ever."

During and after the fighting, drinking water and electrical power were cut off for several days. To reduce the impact of the shortage of water and electricity on the main hospitals in the city, the Central African Red Cross delivered 15,000 litres of water to the Community Hospital, the largest medical facility in Bangui, which also received from the ICRC 150 litres of fuel needed to run the hospital generator. In addition, a water tank was installed today at Friendship Hospital by the ICRC and the Central African Red Cross.

The unidentified bodies of some 30 persons killed in the violence were buried by Central African Red Cross volunteers in accordance with procedures that will facilitate identification by close relatives at a later time.

Clean drinking water for inhabitants of Ndélé

The effort to repair and put back into operation the water supply network in Ndélé is proceeding despite a security situation that has deteriorated to the point that ICRC staff can no longer venture out into certain streets. Repair work on the 49-cubic-metre reservoir serving the city's 10,000 inhabitants is almost completed. Meanwhile, ICRC engineers are still repairing leaking pipes and treating water to make it safe to drink. In addition, Ndélé's hospital is being provided with 6,000 litres of water every day.

Since 23 March

  • Almost 350 wounded people have been given first aid by Central African Red Cross volunteers in Bangui.
  • Over 110 seriously injured people have been taken to hospital in Bangui.

For further information, please contact:
Vincent Pouget, ICRC Bangui, tel: +237 94 202 493 or +236 75 64 30 07
Marie-Servane Desjonquères, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 60 or +41 79 536 92