Respond to armed conflict and internal displacement by helping to protect vulnerable people and meet their basic needs for protection, water and food. Strengthen their resilience by improving access to resources, supporting economic development and promoting human rights.
The Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world's poorest countries, has been described by the United Nations High Commissioner as "the most neglected crisis in the world."
Plagued by poor governance and corruption, CAR has been trapped in a cycle of conflict and underdevelopment for years. 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.
After a violent coup d'etat in March 2013, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated further. An absence of rule of law prevails throughout the country, and conflict has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and forced thousands more to become refugees in neighboring countries.
- Emergency response: Providing immediate assistance to displaced families and orphaned children who have fled violence
- Women & Gender: Operating five survivor support centers that offer medical care, counseling and legal services for victims of gender-based violence
- Children & Youth: Leading play therapy and child protection committees that help kids heal from traumatic violence, guard against sexual exploitation and STDs and engage youth in peacebuilding
- Economic opportunity: Training vulnerable people in income-generating activities, starting village savings and loans groups and supporting inter-communitiy economic projects
- Agriculture & Food: Working with agricultural groups to promote their access to transport, quality seeds and credit; diversifying crops to improve nutrition and improve income
- Water: Constructing wells and reservoirs that provide clean water to more than 100,000 people, and encouraging proper waste management and hygiene
- Conflict & Governance: Strengthening community organizations to monitor human rights, support the engagement of marginalized groups and train communities in managing disputes
All stories about Central African Republic
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.
Central African Republic: Stopping female circumcision September 27, 2011
A movement to promote women's rights — and opportunities to earn a living in new ways — are motivating many ‘nurses’ to stop putting girls' lives at risk.
Central African Republic: Hadja becomes an entrepreneur December 20, 2010
Hadja had never engaged in commerce, and had never had an opportunity to generate her own income — until she joined the Mercy Corps Village Savings and Loan Association.
Central African Republic: A source of strength to continue December 7, 2010
Women who have been abandoned or abused find a safe haven at Mercy Corps' listening centers — and the support they need to build a successful life.