Overview of Displacement in the Central African Republic

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 09 Nov 2011

Executive Summary

The purpose of this study is to update the estimation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Returnees in the Central African Republic (CAR) used by the humanitarian and development community in the understanding of the ever-changing context and the planning of interventions. Understanding the context is vital when analyzing the raw figures, therefore this study goes one step further to outline the causes of displacement at the micro-level. In June 2010, it was estimated that there were 192,0291 Central Africans displaced, and 31,500 refugees and asylum seekers from mostly Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Sudan within the CAR. IDP figures included both IDPs and populations in the process of returning. In addition 161,6912 Central Africans were residing outside in neighboring countries as refugees, mostly in Chad and Cameroon but also Sudan, DRC and Congo Brazzaville.

This study found there to be an estimated 169,698 Central Africans in the CAR currently affected by displacement, of which 103,153 are IDPs and 66,545 are returnees from either displacement in the CAR or neighboring countries. More than 22,180 IDPs were newly displaced in 2011 due to internal conflicts and banditry. Returnees in the CAR are treated by the humanitarian community as displaced and will continue to be until they are living in a durable situation as defined by the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.3 In addition there are 17,7504 refugees and asylum seekers within the CAR and there remain 164,9052 Central African refugees in neighboring countries.

The decrease in the displacement figures within the CAR may be due the following factors: the increase in time for the start of returns in the north-west of the CAR increasing the resilience of these populations, the increase in the number of Central African refugees living abroad and the different methodology used in data collection.

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