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: A Girl Can: Alphonsine's Story
Mercy Corps helps girls like Alphonsine heal from violence in the Central African Republic, stay in school and make choices that keep them safe. See what a girl can do.
Central African Republic: Conflict continues to destabilize forgotten corner of Africa
After a short period of fragile peace, this week armed opposition groups in the Central African Republic are threatening to take up an offensive once again.
Central African Republic, Timor-Leste: Employees engaged to drive strategic community investment
Western Union's new Innovation Awards ask employees to choose which Mercy Corps initiatives to invest in. The first two awards are funding economic development programs in the Central African Republic and Timor-Leste.
Central African Republic: Restoring dignity: One LRA survivor's story
A teenage girl kidnapped by the LRA in the Central African Republic finds a new life thanks to Mercy Corps' counseling center and vocational training.
Central African Republic: Rebel advance captures towns, halts programs
Increasing unrest in the Central African Republic has cut off access to vulnerable communities, forcing Mercy Corps to evacuate staff and temporarily suspend activities.
Central African Republic: Play therapy for children displaced by LRA violence
New groups are helping more kids heal from the terror wrought by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army.
Central African Republic: From violence to vocation, fear to freedom
Mercy Corps counseling centers help women recover from abuse and put the power of self-determination in their own hands.
Central African Republic: You are what you eat
Communal gardens are helping families cultivate new vegetables and easily access more nutritious food right in their own village.
Central African Republic: Fighting for rights in Bangassou
When her husband was wrongly accused and arrested, Helene relied on what she'd learned about about legal rights to fight for his freedom.
Central African Republic: Stopping female circumcision
A movement to promote women's rights — and opportunities to earn a living in new ways — are motivating many ‘nurses’ to stop putting girls' lives at risk.