Recent clashes during the month of April between militia groups in the Central African Republic have not deterred Caritas staff and volunteers from providing dedicated humanitarian support to vulnerable communities and victims of war in the country.
For nearly as decade, political volatility and instability has ravaged the Central African Republic following the deposition of the then president Francois Bozize in 2013. During this time, local Muslim and Christian rebel groups have violently clashed, consequently leaving thousands of vulnerable persons without a home or sustainable work and therefore reliant on humanitarian aid and assistance.
Central Africa’s Caritas network, comprised of the archdiocesan and local diocesan offices, is committed to improving the living conditions of Central African communities affected by the military-political unrest in the country by providing humanitarian support and assistance through a range of programmes including: access to seeds and agricultural tools, food and non-food item distribution, cash assistance, care for malnourished children, peace training and social cohesion programmes, and school kits for students.
To date, within the dioceses of Bangassou, Bossangoa, Kaga-Bandoro, M’BAIKI, Berberati, Alindao, Bouar, Bambari and Bangui:
- 2,800 students received school kits and 70 schools are equipped with educational kits
- Over 985 displaced households have received microfinancing assistance through access to seeds and agricultural tools.
- 250 people have received food
- 200 households have received non-food item kits
- 50 leaders have attended peace training programmes
In solidarity with the dedicated staff and volunteers of Caritas Central Africa, who have been working to restore dignity and peace to the people who are victims of the ongoing unrest in the region, Caritas Internationalis launched an emergency appeal and a EUR 350,000 pledge to assist the humanitarian work currently underway.
Since 2019, Caritas Internationalis has partnered with the World Evangelical Alliance to be a symbol of unity among leaders of different religious confessions and a “voice for the voiceless” for vulnerable Central Africans exploited and susceptible to mercenary actions by commercial and militaristic entities operating in the country. Additionally, international peacekeepers and foreign military groups have also been present within the country in recent years to restore civil order and peace.
Caritas will continue to work alongside other humanitarian organisations in Central Africa, as well as community and religious leaders, in peacekeeping efforts to ensure protection and a dignified life for the nearly 2.2 million people (about half the country’s population) in need of aid and around 1 million people have been displaced as a result of the ongoing violence.