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UN, aid groups seek $272 million to help people fleeing conflict in Central African Republic

The United Nations and aid groups are seeking $272 million to help people fleeing the conflict in the Central African Republic.

The funds will be used to meet the needs of some 360,000 people who have sought refuge from sectarian violence since December.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council authorized a nearly 12,000-strong peacekeeping force to bolster French and African Union troops that have been deployed to protect civilians throughout the vast country.

The aid appeal being launched Wednesday in Geneva is backed by the U.N. refugee agency and 14 other humanitarian organizations.