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U.S. Moves Critical Relief Supplies to Central African Republic
May 19, 2014

Vehicles on road
In this file photo, trucks with humanitarian aid and military supllies for French forces arrive in the Central African Republic capital Bangui from Cameroon in January.

19 May 2014

On May 15, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began airlifting lifesaving relief supplies to the Central African Republic (CAR), where ongoing violence has left an estimated 2.5 million people — more than half the country’s population — in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

The airlift is part of a series of flights that will deliver much-needed aid to underserved and insecure areas of CAR, USAID said on its website

So far, USAID has transported heavy-duty plastic sheeting to help more than 17,000 Central Africans with emergency shelter needs, as well as 12,000 blankets, 6,000 kitchen sets and 12,000 water containers.

USAID partner Catholic Relief Services will distribute the critical supplies to areas where they are needed most.

Persistent violence, instability and limited infrastructure in CAR, USAID said, have severely hampered relief efforts. To overcome these challenges, USAID is planning additional airlifts in the coming weeks to ensure aid reaches more people in need, the agency said.

The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to CAR, according to USAID, providing nearly $67 million so far in fiscal year 2014 for critical food assistance, medical care and relief supplies to those displaced by the violence within CAR, as well as those who have fled as refugees to neighboring countries.

The United States remains committed to helping the Central African people and improving the dire humanitarian situation in CAR, USAID emphasized.