Largest Relief Airlift Since Violence Began in Central African Republic Lands in Capital

About a week after deadly clashes killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, the largest humanitarian cargo flight arrived today carrying 77 metric tons of UNICEF emergency supplies.

UNICEF brings in 77 metric tons of life-saving humanitarian supplies to Bangui

NEW YORK (December 13, 2013) - About a week after deadly clashes killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, the largest humanitarian cargo flight arrived today carrying 77 metric tons of UNICEF emergency supplies.

The charter flight, which landed in Bangui, is filled with blankets, soap, jerry cans, medicine, water purification supplies, plastic sheeting health and midwifery kits, for immediate distribution to up to 37,500 people.

“Over the past week, many people, mostly women and their children, have fled for their lives with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, from Bangui. “At the airport, families with small children are living under the wings of airplanes, exposed to wind and rain. Many have witnessed terrible violence and are too afraid to return home.” 

“These emergency supplies will go to children and families most in need: plastic sheeting for protection from the elements, and medical supplies to our partners so that they can continue to provide emergency care to those injured in the past few days of violence,” said Fontaine. 

“Many people displaced by violence have still not received aid. With so many people in need, UNICEF did not have enough supplies in stock. This new arrival of emergency supplies is critical to prevent diseases, especially among the most vulnerable children and women.’’

Since the beginning of the crisis in Central African Republic almost a year ago, UNICEF has chartered six cargo airlifts to Bangui. The children’s organization is planning additional humanitarian airlifts with 100 metric tons of life-saving medicine and medical equipment expected to land in Bangui next week.

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About UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 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 additional information, please contact:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org