UN humanitarian adviser begins threeweek tour in Central African Republic

Ramiro Lopes da Silva, Special Humanitarian Adviser for CAR in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), will hold talks in the capital, Bangui, with national authorities and staff from humanitarian agencies.UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said today that Mr. da Silva’s visit is the first high-level UN humanitarian mission since March 2003, when CAR leader Francois Bozizé seized power after a six-month rebellion.Mr. da Silva will also inspect the areas most affected by the rebellion. Based on his mission, he is expected to make recommendations about what can be done immediately to help the people of CAR.OCHA has estimated that 20,000 people are internally displaced because of the political-military dispute, and another 42,000 refugees fled to neighbouring Chad to the north, although many have returned.Mr. Eckhard said only $700,000 has been collected so far for CAR in the most recent UN Consolidated Appeal – a small fraction of the target amount of $17 million. read more