Since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) has seen continuous political crises of dictatorship, military coups and armed clashes. In December 2012, civil war broke out between the predominantly Muslim rebel group Seleka, from the marginalised northern areas, and the Christian and animist militia anti-Balaka. The armed groups agreed to a ceasefire in 2014, and elections were held in 2016. However, in 2018, the humanitarian situation is still staggering, and more than half of the population remain in humanitarian needs. As per IOM data, some 580,000 people remain internally displaced, with 494,291 having returned to their areas of origin. Albeit displacements increased in some areas of the country, the continuing return of refugees is a trend that some organisations expect to continue across 2019. 2018 was a dangerous year for humanitarians in CAR, with more than 390 incidents involving NGOs.
People we helped in the Central African Republic in 2018
Clashes among armed groups and widespread violence make it difficult to reach people in need. While CAR is one of the most dangerous places for humanitarians to work, we ensure that our support serves all communities equally through multisector assistance, focusing on hard to reach areas where few other humanitarians are present.
We strive to influence the international community, advocating for increased funding and better protection of the most vulnerable people.
We support the public education system at the national, local and community levels in three prefectures to provide quality education to children. We also make sure that children who have missed out on their education are able to catch up with their peers. Our education teams:
- construct and rebuild schools to provide a safe and secure learning environment for children.
- re-enrol children in courses for them to be able to enjoy an education, while creating a routine and sense of normalcy for youth affected by displacement and trauma.
- enlist and train teachers to strengthen their capacity on class management and teaching methodology.
- provide catch-up classes to children who have missed out on their education through our accelerated learning programme to allow them to reintegrate into the formal school system.
- provide youth with training and support to enhance their livelihood skills and guide them towards a profession.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
In CAR, our ICLA teams help people affected by displacement with their housing, land and property (HLP) rights. We:
- ensure that tenants are the rightful, legal owners through capacity building of local authorities, improvement of archiving systems, set up of community systems on the protection of HLP rights, etc.
- work to prevent further conflict over housing, land and property by providing local authorities and community mechanisms with much needed capacity building for them to better know their roles and responsibilities when it comes to assisting the resolution of HLP conflicts
- conduct activities to promote social cohesion and foster dialogue and conflict resolution between communities
- help people obtain legal documentation, including the civil and identity documentation necessary to access rights and services by building state agent’s capacity and providing information sessions to the general public on the importance of such documentation
Livelihoods and food security
To support communities affected by displacement to restore their livelihoods, our teams:
- distribute agricultural tools and seeds to restore vulnerable households’ resilience
- provide training sessions on agricultural techniques to improve yields and increase households’ independence when growing different foods.
- provide income generating activities to increase beneficiaries’ livelihoods
- provide food and household items for people in acute need through the distribution cash or vouchers to vulnerable individuals affected by displacement for them to be able to meet their basic food and non-food needs.
Shelter and settlements
Our shelter work in CAR endeavours to improve living accommodations for people affected by displacement. Our shelter teams:
- Work with the ICLA team to ensure that households’ LTP rights are respected and upheld.
- Build and repair houses damaged or destroyed during the crisis. This is being done through the provision of in-kind material, cash and technical expertise by our shelter teams.
- Provide emergency shelter to people in displacement camps
- Rehabilitate community infrastructures including administrative buildings and schools.
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion
To restore the basic human rights and dignity of people affected by displacement, we run water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities. We:
- construct and treat water sources such as wells and pumps providing clean drinking water for affected communities
- construct and repair latrines to help people to utilise dignified personal waste disposal systems
- promote hygiene awareness and materials to bring about long-term changes to sanitation practices
- Provide materials to vulnerable individuals in need, in the form of cash, vouchers or in-kind materials.
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for the Humanitarian Pooled Fund
- Education Cannot Wait (ECW)