Photo: Tom Peyre-Costa/NRC

On-the-record update about the humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic

Published 17. Feb 2021
Almost 210,000 people are newly displaced as a result of the escalating conflict in Central African Republic since mid-December, bringing the total number of displaced to 1.5 million, almost a third of the country’s total population.

Those displaced are doubly affected by the widespread violence and the severe lack of humanitarian aid. Insecurity combined with disruptions caused by armed groups along the main supply road between Central African Republic and Cameroon is delaying the timely delivery of food and medicines to affected areas.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Country Director David Manan said:

“We are deeply concerned by the alarming rise in displacement in the Central African Republic. The number of people displaced has not been higher since the height of the conflict in 2013/2014. And while some people may be able to return soon, we know from experience that many will not, and some may end up living in displacement for years.”

“The main route into the country is still largely disrupted, driving up food prices and hampering the timely delivery of humanitarian supplies. In addition, ongoing conflict and insecurity is delaying the delivery of aid to several parts of the country. We appeal to all parties to the conflict to allow necessary goods and supplies to reach people in need.”

“Children are increasingly exposed to recruitment by armed men for about 30 US dollars, and many carry the scars and trauma from what they experience for life. It is a sad reminder of how we, as an international community, have failed to protect these young people, provide them with opportunities and hope for a better future.”

Quote from a newly displaced person outside Bangui:

“Since we have been here, we have stayed under this tree. We are on the ground. We are suffering a lot and we have nothing to eat. It was the good people who brought us cassava leaves. The price of cassava has risen and we can’t afford it,” said Anne Kobangue, a newly displaced woman in Liton, 22 kilometres from Bangui.


  • 109,000 people have fled Central African Republic and sought protection in neighbouring countries since mid-December according to a new update from UNHCR.
  • According to UNOCHA, 100,000 people remain newly displaced within the country.
  • The total displacement figures (1.5 million) have not been higher since the peak of the crisis in the beginning of 2014.
  • The main supply routes are still disrupted after several weeks of blockades by armed groups. This is driving up food prices and is jeopardising the lives of more than 1.9 million people who are food insecure.
  • Due to blockades along the main road between Central African Republic and Cameroon prices in affected areas have skyrocketed as much as 240 per cent for imported staple foods and up to 44 per cent for local goods.
  • 2.8 million people in Central African Republic, more than half of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.
  • In 2021 so far, almost 3,000 children have been recruited by groups across the country (UN).