UN funding shortage 'leaves C. Africa children in need'
The UN children's agency warned on Friday of a "critical funding shortfall" for its programmes in Central African Republic, where more than two million children are in need following a months-long sectarian bloodbath.
UNICEF received less than half the funding it required this year, some $42.7 million out of the $81 million requested, spokesman Christophe Boulierac told AFP.
"Two out of five children in urgent need of UNICEF's support are without access to health, water, education or protection due to a critical funding shortfall and insecurity," he said.
At least 28 people died and dozens were injured in the latest clashes between rival militias in the deeply impoverished former French colony, police said.
UNICEF said it failed to help 620,000 people with basic healthcare, 250,000 children with access to clean water, 33,000 children with measles vaccines and 5,000 severely malnourished children under five with treatment.
Meanwhile more than 1.5 million people in CAR are suffering from food insecurity, about one third of the population, the World Food Programme said.
After repeated raids and the displacement of farming communities, food reserves are now about 40 to 50 percent lower than average levels.
UNICEF's warning over funds comes a few weeks after the WFP was forced to suspend its aid to Syrian refugees because donors had failed to fulfil their pledges.
The distribution of food vouchers to 1.7 million people was resumed after a few days following an appeal.
© 2014 AFP