December 19, 2012— Following an escalation of fighting in the northern regions of Central African Republic (CAR), International Medical Corps has evacuated the majority of its staff in the region to the capital city, Bangui.
An alliance of rebel groups has seized control of Ndélé, Sam-Ouandja, Ouadda, Bamingui and Bria, accusing CAR President Francois Bozizé of failing to comply with the terms of a peace treaty signed in 2007. On December 18, Chadian troops entered CAR to support government efforts to retake the captured towns.
Given the insecure situation in the region, International Medical Corps has evacuated the majority of its CAR team from Bria and the neighbouring province of Vakaga. A number of staff have stayed behind to coordinate International Medical Corps’ response to the developing humanitarian situation and maintain lifesaving activities. As Bria’s population has fled for safety, International Medical Corps is preparing for an influx of patients once security is restored and the population returns. However, should the security situation deteriorate further, remaining International Medical Corps staff will be evacuated.
International Medical Corps’ global security team is monitoring the situation closely and ensuring the utmost safety of staff. With significant humanitarian needs already in the region and the likelihood of civilians experiencing greater hardship as a result of the fighting increasing, International Medical Corps hopes for a swift cessation of violence so that we can continue to provide critically-needed relief to vulnerable populations.
International Medical Corps began working in CAR in 2007, primarily in the insecure northern and eastern provinces. Today we provide basic health services to thousands of vulnerable people, including refugees and IDPs fleeing violence in the region. Our services include, maternal and child health care, child protection, nutrition services, HIV/AIDS prevention, health education, gender-based violence prevention and response, and hygiene promotion activities.
Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services and sustainable development projects that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.