Move beyond aid and focus on helping community drive their own development through improvements in water and sanitation, food security, information and education. Reinforce good governance and expand economic opportunities.
The Central African Republic (CAR) has been described by the United Nations High Commissioner as "the most neglected crisis in the world." It's also one of the world's poorest countries. Multiple conflicts, including unpredictable attacks by the violent Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), have displaced about 250,000 people and forced more than 70,000 to become refugees in neighboring countries.
Chronic underdevelopment, corruption and political intrigue continue to fuel violence, and an absence of rule of law prevails throughout the country. Most Central Africans live hand to mouth and find it extremely difficult to amass assets or plan for long-term economic activities. Women are especially at high risk for gender-based violence. Basic services such as clean water, education and health care are minimal.
- Emergency response: Providing immediate assistance to families and orphaned children who have fled LRA violence
- Women & Gender: Operating four resource centers that offer medical care, counseling and legal services for victims of gender-based violence
- Children & Youth: Leading play therapy and child protection communities that help kids heal from traumatic violence and guard against sexual exploitation and STDs
- Economic opportunity: Training women in income-generating activities and start village savings and loans groups
- Agriculture & Food: Working with 60 agricultural groups to promote their access to transport, quality seeds and credit; increasing production of staple foods like maize and peanuts and add more profitable crops like potatoes and onions for improved income
- Water: Rehabilitating wells, building new reservoirs and improving springs that provide clean water to more than 100,000 people
- Conflict & Governance: Strengthening community organizations to monitor human rights, connect with the government, and encourage citizens to engage with local political processes
All stories about Central African Republic
Central African Republic: Staff returns to restart programs after rebel coup April 8, 2013
Ready to get back to work and help families in the wake of political chaos, our staff shares what it's like on the ground in the troubled Central African Republic.
Central African Republic: A Girl Can: Alphonsine's Story March 8, 2013
Mercy Corps helps girls like Alphonsine heal from violence in the Central African Republic, stay in school and make choices that keep them safe. See what a girl can do.
Central African Republic: Conflict continues to destabilize forgotten corner of Africa February 28, 2013
After a short period of fragile peace, this week armed opposition groups in the Central African Republic are threatening to take up an offensive once again.
Central African Republic, Timor-Leste: Employees engaged to drive strategic community investment February 21, 2013
Western Union's new Innovation Awards ask employees to choose which Mercy Corps initiatives to invest in. The first two awards are funding economic development programs in the Central African Republic and Timor-Leste.
Central African Republic: Restoring dignity: One LRA survivor's story February 14, 2013
A teenage girl kidnapped by the LRA in the Central African Republic finds a new life thanks to Mercy Corps' counseling center and vocational training.
Central African Republic: Rebel advance captures towns, halts programs January 3, 2013
Increasing unrest in the Central African Republic has cut off access to vulnerable communities, forcing Mercy Corps to evacuate staff and temporarily suspend activities.
Central African Republic: Play therapy for children displaced by LRA violence August 31, 2012
New groups are helping more kids heal from the terror wrought by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
Central African Republic: From violence to vocation, fear to freedom October 24, 2011
Mercy Corps counseling centers help women recover from abuse and put the power of self-determination in their own hands.
Central African Republic: You are what you eat October 4, 2011
Communal gardens are helping families cultivate new vegetables and easily access more nutritious food right in their own village.
Central African Republic: Fighting for rights in Bangassou October 1, 2011
When her husband was wrongly accused and arrested, Helene relied on what she'd learned about about legal rights to fight for his freedom.