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Central African Republic Regional Emergency Appeal (February 2021)

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DRC: 92,0531 | Chad: 8,437 | Cameroon: 6,616 | Congo: 4,331


Situation overview

Violence erupted in the Central African Republic between the Government and a coalition of armed groups around the 27 December 2020 election, disrupting the 2019 peace agreement and triggering a new wave of displacement. As of February 2021, more than 100,000 people are estimated to have been internally displaced within CAR, while more than 111,000 refugees from CAR have been recorded in Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo. This influx adds to the nearly 1.3 million existing Central African forcibly displaced, bringing the total to over 1.5 million – nearly a third of the country’s population.

The latest crisis is exacerbating protection risks within the Central African Republic, where violence against women and girls and a significant number of unaccompanied and separated children are already major concerns. In parallel, the number of reported forced recruitments across the country have been increasing. The main roads to Cameroon have become unsafe, preventing the cross- border delivery of vital supplies and drastically increasing the price of essential goods. The already vulnerable population in the Central African Republic is now in urgent need of food, shelter and essential household items, in addition to health care supplies and water, sanitation and hygiene services required to prevent the spread of COVID- 19 and other diseases.

The situation is particularly challenging in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where many of the 92,0001 newly-arrived refugees are spread across 40 remote localities close to the border, still within possible reach of the indiscriminate violence they fled from. New arrivals now outnumber the local population, with refugees living in makeshift shelters, without access to vital services such as education or health care. More than 19,300 Central Africans fled to Chad, Cameroon, and the Republic of the Congo. In Cameroon population movements suggest that the actual figures are higher than the number who have been registered. In Chad, refugees continue to arrive (albeit in lower numbers than at the beginning of the crisis) due to the presence of armed groups in several villages in the north-west of the Central African Republic.

The Central African Republic has for years been one of the most consistently overlooked and underfunded emergencies in the world with persistent and, at times, record underfunding, repeatedly forcing UNHCR and its humanitarian partners to reduce critical activities. This year, and this emergency, is unfortunately no different. Erupting as it did at the beginning of the year, this new crisis has temporarily put on hold voluntary repatriation and reintegration of Central Africans and forced UNHCR to urgently reprioritize and shift some of it already limited resources towards life-saving protection and assistance.

With humanitarian and protection needs growing, UNHCR is appealing for $164.7 million ($13.1 million of which is additional) to deliver critical protection and assistance in the Central African Republic and neighbouring countries.