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International NGOs express their deep concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic

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Food security at risk: Today, more than one out of two Central Africans is food insecure according to the World Food Programme (July 2021). In addition, more than one in four people are either refugees or internally displaced, the number of displaced people in CAR has reached 1,417,542 (UNHCR, 30/06/2021), the highest number since 2014. In addition to the displacements caused by insecurity, flood victims represent 30% of the displacements between May and June 2021. "These recurrent displacements and insecurity are seriously impacting agricultural production, which is already weakened by climate disruption, crop diseases and difficulties in accessing inputs and farming tools. This not only destabilizes the country's food security but also impacts the livelihoods of rural households that depend heavily on subsistence farming for their survival" said Mathilde Lambert, Country Director of Action contre la Faim-RCA.

Alarming health challenges: Repeated attacks on patients, staff, medical assets and infrastructure, as well as insecurity, have disrupted access to health care. The situation is worrying because CAR's health indicators continue to be particularly alarming. The country has the worst infant mortality rate in the world (WB, 2019) and one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the world (WB, 2017). "The impact of the conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic on the mental health of affected populations is often underestimated. On the ground, we observe symptoms of depression, anxiety or psychosis," says Dr. Christian Mulamba, Country Director at International Medical Corps. Plagued by a measles epidemic since 2020, the country has also experienced major malaria epidemics, which remains the leading cause of morbidity. As a result, CAR population has a life expectancy of 53 years, one of the lowest in the world.

Education in crisis: After a year 2020 disrupted by the COVID-19 preventive health restrictions, the conflict has disrupted the functioning of an already precarious education system: student absenteeism, school closures due to insecurity, occupation of schools by displaced populations or by armed actors. This situation permanently compromises the future of Central African youth and particularly that of internally displaced children and that of girls living in the conflict areas.

Sexual violence on the rise: While men account for the majority of the conflict's dead and wounded, women, girls, boys, and people living with disabilities are greatly affected by difficulties in accessing basic social services (education, sexual and reproductive health care, nutrition, etc.) and by protection problems. Reported sexual violence is on the rise in the country and disproportionately affects women and girls.

To date, the humanitarian response plan in CAR is only half funded. International NGOs are calling for the mobilization of Central African authorities and donors to ensure the humanitarian response and the protection of civilians.

Since the week of December 14, 2020, armed clashes have broken out in the Central African Republic and continue to this day. Civilians, humanitarian workers, and medical staff have not been spared from the wave of violence that has since taken place in the country. The number of incidents affecting humanitarians between January and June 2021 has increased by 39% compared to the same period last year. Despite the insecurity, humanitarians provided assistance to 25% of the population during the first quarter of 2021.

Press contact: Coralie Frémion, Policy Advisor, Tel: 00236 72 55 30 09, Mail: programme@ccorca.org