Read caption Siphora, 5, (from right) Ingrid, 4, and Sarak, 5 live in the sourthern village of Gara Amou, which welcomed more than 2,000 people fleeing from cities further north last year. In Gara Amou, they are living in peace with the mostly Christian host community. Photo: Tiril Skarstein/NRC

Five things to know about the Central African Republic

Chanel Igara|Published 09. May 2018
More people are displaced than ever before, half of the population needs humanitarian aid and it’s one of the world’s most dangerous countries for humanitarian workers. Here’s what you should know about the Central African Republic:
Read caption Here are five things to know about the Central African Republic.


#1: Record level of forced displacement 

Since late 2012, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been wracked by a bloody conflict in which civilians have paid the price. At least 1.2 million people have been forced off their homes: One in four people are either internally displaced or have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. In 2017, the number of internally displaced people increased by 70 per cent.


Read caption Honorine Essibeda, 76, fled to a displacement site outside the capital of Bangui, when armed men took over the area where she lived. Her house in Begoua was completely destroyed but, with support from NRC, she managed to start rebuilding it. Photo: Tiril Skarstein/NRC


#2: Large areas controlled by armed groups

CAR counts a myriad of armed groups and militias. It is estimated that armed groups and militias run up to 80 per cent of the territory, challenging the authority of the central government everywhere they operate. The presence of armed groups has prevented many internally displaced people from returning to their homes.


Read caption Aisha, 10, and Aissatou, 2, fled from Batangafo to Gara Amou with their mother and four siblings. Their father was killed in the conflict. Six of their siblings are still left in Batangafo. Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein


#3: Humanitarians are often targeted

Aid workers are frequently targeted in CAR. The country is considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous countries for humanitarians. Last year, a total of 16 aid workers were killed. This often leads aid agencies to suspend their activities despite the needs of the affected and displaced populations.


Read caption NRC's emergency assistance team has distributed hygiene kits and kitchen utensils to displaced people, some returnees and members of the host community. Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein


#4: One of the world’s most neglected humanitarian crises

In addition to a lack of international media coverage, the crisis is receiving little support from international donors. Last year, over 60 per cent of the humanitarian needs couldn’t be covered because of a lack of funds. Today, half of the population needs humanitarian aid. This year, over USD 515 million are required to address the humanitarian needs in the country. At the beginning of May, less than 10 per cent was funded.


Read caption Displaced children who have found safety in Gara Amou, together with children from the host community. Photo: NRC/Tiril Skarstein


#5: An overwhelmingly young population

In CAR, 75 per cent of the population are under 35 years old. However, most young people are unemployed, and this has made them an easy target for armed rebel groups. Youth employment is estimated to be at 12,5 per cent.