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Reiterating an appeal for the international community to invest more to avoid “the worst scenario,” such as a large-scale humanitarian crisis affecting the entire region, today Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi advocated for financing the Humanitarian Response Plan to better protect civilians targeted by armed groups. At a briefing by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yaounde, Cameroon, she said that the plan is intended to “lift the population from poverty and vulnerability,” and that it indisputably contributes to “accompanying the wishes of peace of the majority of fellow Central Africans.” The current indicators are similar to those that existed between 2013 and 2014 – at the peak of the crisis. Today, 600,000 people are internally displaced with 513,666 refugees in neighbouring countries, the highest levels reached since 2013. To date, the population in need has grown from 2.2 at the beginning of the year to 2.4 million. The 2017 Revised Humanitarian Response Plan (RHP) of $497.3 million was funded as at 30 September to $148.5 million, leaving 30 per cent of needs unmet. With a shortfall of $348.8 million, that number jumped to 70 per cent, compromising assistance for half of the population. New contributions to the RHP will give “a chance for hundreds of thousands of people to meet their urgent needs and thus promote the reconstruction of their lives and their country,” underscored Ms. Rochdi. Indeed, humanitarian action covering the most critical needs would gradually strengthen the resilience of the communities. “It is only at this price that the country will emerge from the vicious circle of crises,” she added. Ms. Rochdi thanked those donors whose contributions to the Humanitarian Response Plan have led to the effective and rapid response to the several crises regularly plaguing the country, particularly commending “the additional contributions received recently, notably from Japan, DFID and the Netherlands, which were a stitch in time at a moment when concurrent crises challenged the operational capacities of humanitarian actors.” The Humanitarian Coordinator also announced that she would take an international tour to “raise awareness of the current plight in the Central African Republic.”