Central African Republic

Since early 2013, the situation in Central African Republic has grown from a silent emergency into a visible and complex humanitarian crisis. Concern Worldwide is on the ground.

Central African Republic

In March 2013, the Central African Republic’s predominantly Muslim Seleka overthrew the government of President Francois Bozizé. The inability of the Seleka government to restore security in the country gradually led to chaos in Central African Republic (CAR), which subsequently led to mass displacement.

The situation escalated in December 2013 when fighting broke out between predominantly Christian and animist Anti-Balaka militias and the Seleka. The civil Muslim population was particularly targeted by the Anti-Balaka causing another wave of displacement.

This led to the resignation of President Djotodia in January 2014 and the appointment of a transitional government led by Catherine Samba-Panza.

In December 2013, international armed forces launched a military operation to provide security in CAR. Despite the increased presence of international armed forces since, security has not yet been restored in large parts of CAR where armed militias still fight each other and carry out retaliatory attacks on civilians.

The ongoing violence and insecurity has led to a humanitarian crisis of huge proportions.

An estimated 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including over 410,000 displaced people and over 420,000 CAR refugees in neighboring countries.

Most live in makeshift shelters or rely on the hospitality of host communities, which are stretched to their limits. Returnees are finding homes and other infrastructure destroyed.

THE ISSUES

Concern began work in CAR in mid-2014 and identified the following priority needs:

  • Health: Less than half of the population can access basic health services, including medicine.
  • Protection: The proliferation of violence continues to cause widespread civilian casualties. Women are threatened by a very high incident of rape and children are vulnerable to being forced into armed gangs.
  • Food: The destruction of farmland, livestock and food stocks means access to food is limited. This places already fragile communities in a dangerous position.
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene: Outbreaks of disease are a threat to thousands of people living in overcrowded camps, where sanitation systems are primitive or non-existent.

OUR RESPONSE

We are currently implementing livelihoods, food security and water and sanitation activities in both Bangui and Ombella M’Poko prefectures in the southwest of the country.

Our livelihoods and food security efforts, including cash-for-work and seed distribution, have benefitted 34,200 people so far. We’ve also provided 16,400 people with clean drinking water.

Each year, thousands of people in CAR benefit from our agriculture and food security activities, livelihoods assistance, clean drinking water.