NEW YORK (April 9, 2013) - A special UNICEF-chartered flight carrying more than 23 tons of essential medicines, obstetric supplies and water tanks arrived yesterday in the conflict-ravaged Central African Republic capital city of Bangui, two weeks after an armed rebellion.
The shipment is one of the first significant deliveries of relief supplies to the Central African Republic following weeks of insecurity and looting in which hospitals and health facilities suffered serious losses of medical supplies and equipment.
The emergency medical kits carried on the flight will be used to treat some 200,000 people affected by the conflict for the next three months. Also flown in were twelve water tanks with distribution kits to provide clean water at the main hospitals and health centers in the capital Bangui and other areas.
"This delivery represents a vital step in enabling children and the population at large to regain basic access to medical care," said Souleymane Diabate, UNICEF's Representative in Bangui. "However, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of needs. So much has been lost in the looting in a country where children already face some of the most difficult survival conditions in the world."
"The supplies will be selectively distributed to health partners who have the capacity to undertake care and treatment of those most in need, starting with main hospitals and health facilities," Diabate said. "The new government has pledged its cooperation with these efforts."
This is the second plane loaded with emergency supplies chartered by UNICEF this year. The first UNICEF flight brought more than 14 tons of essential medicines and emergency supplies to Bangui on January 24. Since the coup d'etat on March 24, UNICEF has delivered 81 tons of emergency supplies, including essential drugs and medical equipment for more than 60,000 people at hospitals and health centers.
UNICEF now estimates that the entire population of the Central African Republic-about 4.6 million people, including more than 2.3 million children-is directly affected by the conflict. UNICEF urgently needs $11.1 million to provide life-saving relief to families.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
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