International Community Must Draw Attention To ‘Forgotten Crisis’ In CAR

In a Guardian opinion piece, Kristalina Georgieva, European commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response, examines the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) and reflects on the lack of attention being paid to the situation in the international media. “The ferocity of the fighting and the fall of the capital Bangui has briefly forced the Central African Republic into the international news — but in truth its plight is to be a small and for the most part invisible country surrounded by a sea of troubles and conflict,” she states. “While the international community has all but handed the Syrian crisis to humanitarians to manage as best they can, seemingly abandoning efforts to seek a political solution there, the suffering of millions of others around the world is getting worse as the pressures on precious resources become ever greater.” She asks, “How is it possible for an entire country to become forgotten?” and writes, “This is the question I heard time and again from people living in mortal fear, working without pay in hospitals without electricity or medicines, without food for their malnourished children, many of them without hope.”

“It’s hard to be positive about the future of the Central African Republic when its past and present are so tragic,” Georgieva continues. “What is certain is that the Central African Republic is incapable of doing it alone,” she states, adding, “In my work as the European Union’s commissioner for humanitarian aid, I am determined to ensure that, in spite of all the dramatic needs from conflicts seen nightly on television, we continue to spend 15 percent of our annual budget on ‘forgotten crises’ — those that fail to draw the attention of the global community.” She concludes, “It is our moral duty, but also it is in our own interest, to bring the resources and the political attention needed to restore security and a functioning state for Central Africans. It is possible and it is long overdue” (7/30).

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