Press Release

UNFPA Sends Reproductive Health Assistance to Central African Republic

22 June 2001

United Nations, New York - The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is sending emergency reproductive health assistance to the Central African Republic (CAR) where about 100,000 people have been displaced by fighting following an attempted coup d’etat in May. The supplies are expected to arrive on Monday, 25 June. About 50,000 of the displaced persons have returned home so far.

Most health care systems in the capital of Bangui have ceased to function while fighting between rebels and government forces has produced scores of injured people needing immediate medical attention.

UNFPA’s Representative, Agathe Lawson, calls the health situation especially “dangerous to women and infants” and warns of “serious humanitarian consequences,” if immediate action is not taken to curb the spread of infectious disease and ensure access to comprehensive health care, including safe delivery, infant care, trauma counselling, HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning.

“We are very concerned about the killings and the effects these traumatic events are going to have on young people especially,” said Ms. Lawson. “In order to counter these effects, UNFPA is deploying a team of specialists in trauma counseling for young people.”

To reduce the overall health impact of the conflict on the population, the UNFPA is:

  • Providing reproductive health equipment and medicine;
  • Supporting health assistance to the displaced population;
  • Providing support for reproductive health care facilities;
  • Providing assistance for trauma counselling.

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UNFPA is the world’s largest multilateral source of population assistance. About a quarter of all population assistance from donor nations to developing countries is channelled through the Fund. Since it began operations in 1969, the Fund has provided more than $5 billion in assistance to virtually all developing countries.

Contact Information:

William A. Ryan
Tel.: +66 2 288 2446
Email: ryanw@unfpa.org

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