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 protection, 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 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

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