UNHCR head 'deeply shocked' by situation in CAR

United Nations High Commission for Refugees António Guterres addressed the UN Security Council on Thursday regarding the situation in the Central African Republic, his recent visit to the country, and what must be done to address the crisis.
By JC Finley   |   March 6, 2014 at 5:37 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, March 6 (UPI) -- Addressing the UN Security Council on Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres spoke about his recent trip to the Central African Republic.

"I do not remember any visit in my 8-year tenure as High Commissioner that caused me such anguish as my recent trip to the Central African Republic."

Guterres said he was "deeply shocked" by the brutal and inhuman violence, and its debilitating affect on the CAR population.

The deteriorating security situation is inhibiting UNHCR from delivering needed humanitarian aid. "The resources we have," Guterres observed, "are entirely insufficient compared with the rapidly growing challenges we face."

In addition to security challenges, his agency faces financial hurdles as well. UNHCR is "dramatically underfunded" and has been forced to dip into its "own limited reserves" to respond to the crisis.

Echoing Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's 6-point plan to deal with the crisis in CAR, Guterres told the Security Council that the most pressing and immediate need "is to reestablish security and law and order."

Looking forward, the future of CAR rests in the international community recognizing "that the reconstruction of a 'disappeared' state is an intensive and time-consuming process, which must go far beyond calm being restored and elections taking place."

[United Nations]

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