UNICEF running low on life-saving supplies in CAR

United Nations: The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the growing need in the Central African Republic (CAR) will exceed emergency supplies in the coming weeks against a backdrop of increasing displacement in the country and waning funding.

"Wherever our mobile teams go, they are seeing more people displaced by violence," reported Xinhua citing Bob McCarthy, UNICEF emergency coordinator in the CAR.

According to the UN, since September, the number of people forced to flee their homes has almost doubled to an estimated 394,000.

The UN agency urgently needs $3 million in additional funds for emergency relief items like blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans and soap for 55,000 internally displaced persons in the country over the next six months.

Since August, over 44,000 displaced people have received plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, hygiene kits and soap with UNICEF support.

"We are delivering essential medicines to restart emergency healthcare and safe water to families in displacement sites such as Bossangoa," said McCarthy, adding that, "Simple items like jerry cans make a big difference in allowing people to transport and store water where they live."

"Any delay or disruption in the delivery of basic yet essential supplies puts displaced people and young children increasingly at risk of diarrhoea and other diseases," he said.

Plagued by decades of instability and fighting, the African country witnessed a resumption of violence in December when the Seleka rebel coalition launched a series of attacks. A peace agreement was reached in January, but the rebels again seized the capital, Bangui, in March, forcing President Francois Bozize to flee.

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