Respond to armed conflict and internal displacement by helping to protect vulnerable people and meet their basic needs for 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 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: My introduction September 4, 2010
I started working with Mercy Corps as a translator in September 2008, and then signed on as a Program Assistant in February of this year. Now I work around the country on programs that support women’s rights, women’s associations and justice issues.
Central African Republic: From our photo library June 18, 2010
A couple of years ago, someone mentioned that I should look at the photography of Mercy Corps staffer, Jenny Bussey Vaughan. At the time she was working in Central African Republic. The disc of images I received was filled with excellent work.
Central African Republic: Taking a step forward to protect women's rights June 2, 2010
Our women’s legal support project is beginning after the baseline study that we completed on women’s rights violations showed the extent of violence that women across the country face.
Central African Republic: Women in CAR: What are you thankful for? April 19, 2010
Mercy Corps' Cassandra Nelson interviews beneficiaries in Central African Republic about what they are thankful for.
Central African Republic: Baking a better future in Africa April 19, 2010
In the impoverished Central African Republic, we're finding ways to help women like Edwige feed her family by expanding their economic opportunities.
Central African Republic: Standing up for their futures September 26, 2009
I went to spend the afternoon with one of Mercy Corps’ partners for the Women’s Empowerment Program in a slum area on the outskirts of Bangui. The group is called Terrespoir, which translates to Land and Hope.
Central African Republic: Fighting for their homes September 25, 2009
In the Central African Republic (CAR), women’s rights here are few, and the enforcement of the laws is almost non-existent. Most women are not even aware they have many rights. In a country where almost 70 percent of women cannot read, this is not surprising.
Central African Republic: 'I have never seen a place as poor as this' September 21, 2009
I am writing from the Central African Republic (CAR). Not many people know much about this land-locked country slightly smaller than Texas. But the short and not-so-sweet brief on CAR is that it is the second poorest country on Earth after Sierra Leone.
Central African Republic: Video: Fatou Ali gets economic independence September 9, 2009
Central African Republic: Life, Interrupted April 10, 2009
Luc Mbarte was awoken by shouting outside his house on the night of May 2, 2007. Seven armed bandits had entered his village, Bokoyan, under the cover of night.