UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow will travel to Central African Republic this week to help highlight the plight of children as new fighting is making an already dire humanitarian situation even more precarious.
This will be Ms. Farrow’s third visit to the conflict-torn country, where renewed fighting since August has forced thousands of people to flee, with nearly 400,000 people now displaced. Most of them are women and children with many hiding in remote areas and in desperate need of clean water, food and health facilities.
During the one-week visit, Ms. Farrow is scheduled to travel to the troubled region of Bossangoa north of the capital city of Bangui to meet with families who have recently sought refuge from fresh fighting in the area. She will also visit a school that has recently opened in Bangui, as well as health points and a hospital in the capital.
With increasing numbers of people displaced by violence across the landlocked country, UNICEF has warned that in the coming weeks, growing needs will exceed available emergency supplies.
Since August, UNICEF has helped provide more than 44,000 displaced people with plastic sheeting, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, hygiene kits and soap. But humanitarian needs are growing faster than aid, and UNICEF is urgently requesting an additional US$3 million for emergency relief items.
New supplies are arriving by air to Bangui this week, including 48 metric tonnes of mosquito nets and emergency provisions for 6,000 families, through the support of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. But much more is needed.
Ms. Farrow, an internationally acclaimed actress and humanitarian activist, was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in September 2000. She last visited Central African Republic in 2007 and 2008.