What are the needs?
Decades of political instability and natural disasters in the Central African Republic (CAR) have contributed to the destruction of the national economy, the weakening of state institutions and the lack of development. The situation in CAR took a dramatic turn following the March 2013 coup d'état, with the conflict escalating to unprecedented levels of violence. The peak of the conflict in December 2013 ignited a cycle of reprisals with violent clashes between armed groups.
In January 2014, a new transition government took office, which marked the start of a still unstable process of appeasement. The UN integrated mission (MINUSCA) deployment came in support of the political transition process, while promoting accessibility of long-secluded areas. Despite the successful completion of the electoral cycle which led to a new government in March 2016, and a relative calm in the first months of 2016, the overall security situation remains fragile.
Exactions and widespread robberies have continued to affect the population, compromising humanitarian access and threatening the lives of humanitarian workers. Humanitarian needs remain very high due to recurrent localised outbreaks of violence, continuing protection threats, protracted and new population displacements, widespread destruction of homes, disruption of services and livelihoods, high level of food insecurity, and the persistent weakness of State institutions.
Almost half of the population is considered vulnerable, without access to basic services.
In a country where some 2.5 million people are food insecure, integrating nutritional surveillance and treatment into health services is a priority. According to UNICEf, 2.4 million children are affected. Other priority needs include food, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and basic household items. The protection of civilians also raises major concerns. The lack of access due to general insecurity makes relief efforts particularly challenging.
How are we helping?
With over €262 million provided since 2014, the European Union is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to CAR. The European Commission alone has provided €111.5 million (in addition to €30 million for Central African refugees in neighbouring countries) in humanitarian aid since December 2013.
The European Commission is supporting projects covering protection, access to health care, food and nutrition assistance, distribution of clean water, sanitation services, logistics and humanitarian coordination. Refugees who settled in CAR in the last years are also being assisted.
EU humanitarian funds are also helping improve the emergency response capacities of UN agencies and NGOs, from rapid deployments and needs assessments to timely responses.
At the eve of the Brussels donor conference on 17 November 2016, the EU announced an additional €11 million in funding to address humanitarian needs in Central African Republic and for Central African Refugees in neighbouring countries.