Violence between armed groups and against civilians, targeting schools, health facilities and sites hosting internally displaced people, has forced thousands of people to flee since the fighting started in 2013. A quarter of the CAR population (1.2 million people out of a population of 4.7 million) is either internally displaced or living as a refugee in neighbouring countries.
What are the needs?
Almost 7 years of sectarian fighting have brought more than half of the population - around 2.6 million people – in need of humanitarian aid (OCHA). The government and 14 armed groups signed a peace deal in February 2019. Despite some positive results, the implementation of the peace agreement remains challenging, with violence still ongoing in areas under the control of armed groups.
There are currently around 1.2 million people from the Central African Republic uprooted from their homes, either within the country itself (600,000 people) or in neighbouring countries (593,000 refugees) (UNHCR, 2019). With no source of livelihood, most displaced people rely on humanitarian assistance for their survival.
An estimated 2 million people in the Central African Republic do not have enough to eat and nearly 38% of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition (WFP, ENSA, Dec 2019).
Conflict has also disrupted basic social services. A large number of children are not able to attend school, because of displacement, or schools being closed down, attacked or occupied by armed groups. Access to healthcare in the CAR remains one of the poorest in the world - there are only 7.3 professional healthcare workers per 10,000 inhabitants when the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) threshold stands at 23 (Humanitarian Needs Overview, Oct 2019). In addition, low vaccination rates across the country increases the risk of epidemics.
Insecurity and lack of transport infrastructure hamper humanitarian access. Humanitarian workers remain a target for armed groups and criminals. In 2019, 3 aid workers lost their lives and 272 incidents directly affecting humanitarian staff or goods were recorded between January and November 2019 (OCHA Bulletin Humanitaire RCA, no. 49 Nov 2019).