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Central African Republic

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  • Photo: Sean Sheridan for Mercy Corps

Our strategy

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 context

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.

Our work

  • 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

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