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: A Devastating Return October 19, 2007
Program Officer John Hanson served as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Central African Republic (CAR) from April 1992 until May 1996. He lived and worked for the first two years in the small village of Pata Maraba, about 40 miles north of the capital, Bangui.
Central African Republic: A Sad Show of Hands August 1, 2007
Central African Republic (CAR) is a former French colony, about the same size as Texas. Located in the heart of Africa, its neighbors are some of the continent's most unstable and violent countries: Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.