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.
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.
Lat / Lon
- 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
- Population (2014 est.): 5.2 million
- UN Human Development Index rank: 185 (out of 187)
- Mercy Corps has worked here since 2007
All stories about Central African Republic
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.
Central African Republic: How farmers can keep their kids in school January 27, 2009
A better harvest leads to a better education for the next generation.
Central African Republic: Feeding a Family November 5, 2008
Every morning, Sophie Gbellet arrives at her open-air market stall to sell bottles of palm oil, homemade peanut butter, onions, mushrooms and caterpillars — a local delicacy in Bouar, one of the largest cities in one of the poorest countries on the planet.
Central African Republic: Gathering around the well October 15, 2008
People come together to build new water sources that will help the community and the displaced families who have arrived seeking refuge.
Central African Republic: Distributing seeds and feeding families October 15, 2008
Starting at the source, we're helping people make the most of their agricultural livelihoods.
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.