Mercy Corps has worked in the Central African Republic (CAR) since 2007. It’s one of the world's poorest countries and 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. An estimated 2.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in CAR. 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 although fleeting stability has been seen since the elections in 2016. Still, 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.
CAR is also one of the world’s most dangerous countries for aid workers, making attempts at humanitarian aid even more difficult in an already challenging situation. With human rights violations occurring daily, the need for aid is greater than ever.
- Emergency response: Providing immediate assistance to displaced families and orphaned children who have fled violence
- Women & Gender: Operating survivor support centers that offer linkages to medical care, counseling and legal services for survivors 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 engage youth in peacebuilding
- Economic opportunity: Training vulnerable people in income-generating activities, starting village savings and loans groups and supporting inter-community economic projects
- Water: Constructing wells that provide clean water to nearly 1,000 families, 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
Central African Republic: Building towards a better future
As the only woman in her carpentry workshop, Berthe has to be tough. But the skills she’s learning will help give her family the future they deserve.
Central African Republic: Q+A: Working with communities to stop gender-based violence
Women in conflict-affected countries are especially vulnerable to violence. Learn how we're leading the fight to stop gender-based violence in CAR.
Central African Republic: Not to be forgotten: Helping people survive CAR crisis
The crisis in CAR is one of four U.N. "Level 3" emergencies, and nearly half the country's population is struggling to survive. We're working hard to help.
Central African Republic, South Sudan: Remembering photojournalist Camille Lepage
Mercy Corps' Country Director in South Sudan reflects on the life of his friend and our colleague, who was killed in the Central African Republic this week.
Central African Republic: Rainy season heightens risk of disease
New photos from the Central African Republic, where we're addressing urgent water and sanitation needs for displaced families facing squalid living conditions.
Central African Republic: Distributing food, addressing sanitation needs as violence spreads
The situation continues to deteriorate in CAR, where we are helping prevent the spread of disease and rushing supplies to families uprooted by fighting.
Central African Republic: Emergency response focused on protection and hygiene
Over 500,000 people have fled their homes in the last month, seeking safety from increasingly sectarian violence centered in the capital of Bangui.
Central African Republic: Increased violence and displacement put millions at risk, raise international concerns
A recent meeting of UN and NGO emergency directors highlighted the country's profound humanitarian crisis that cannot be ignored.
Central African Republic: How we're working through continued insecurity
In a Q & A with Program Coordinator Whitney Elmer, learn how we’re adapting to a new, challenging environment to help families in post-coup CAR.
Central African Republic: Staff returns to restart programs after rebel coup
Ready to get back to work and help families in the wake of political chaos, our staff shares what it's like on the ground in the troubled Central African Republic.