People camped around a monastery

Fleeing the violence in Bangui, more than 9,000 people have sought refuge in Boy-Rabe monastery – ©ICRC/Rabih Mazboudi

Months of unrest in Central African Republic (CAR) have left civilians living in fear.

During a recent visit to London, Patrick L’Hote, head of operations for central and southern Africa with the International Committee of the Red Cross, spoke about the desperate plight of civilians in CAR.

He said very few situations in the world compare to the current circumstances in CAR.

Rebel forces ousted the country’s president in March and violence erupted at the start of December following months of tension between Muslim and Christian communities.

An estimated 639,000 people have been forced to leave their homes due to the conflict, while more than 500 people have been killed since fighting began on 5 December.

There are an estimated 214,000 displaced people within the capital Bangui alone, while reports of sectarian violence and human rights violations continue to come from Bossangoa, Bozoum, Bohong, and Paoua.

Helping the wounded

The British Red Cross last week pledged £100,000 towards alleviating the humanitarian crisis.

The Red Cross in CAR is administering first aid, transporting the wounded, recovering bodies, distributing food and providing medical and surgical supplies to community hospitals.

The UN has warned that 1.29 million people are in urgent need of food, while there is also a desperate need for water and sanitation, shelter, health care and medical supplies.

Read more on our financial pledge.