Despite peacebuilding efforts, CAR has gotten bogged down since the 2012 crisis in a cycle of violence that has spread to several regions of the country generating growing humanitarian needs.
The civilian population is the most affected by this climate of violence. The overall situation of insecurity and instability is causing the displacement of many families to IDP amps or host families (estimated at 640,000 people in July 2018¹.
However, populations start to return, which shows that the context has cooled down somewhat, but it is still necessary to meet the urgent needs of the host and displaced populations and to compensate for the lack of access to basic services.
Clashes between armed groups, international armed forces and the Central African armed forces continue to cause population movements. The Ouaka Prefecture has the largest number of IDPs, with the exception of Bangui (nearly 100,000 people according to the Population Movement Commission). The Humanitarian Response Plan² considers the Ouaka as a priority area for emergency humanitarian aid.
Needs are high, but the volatile security environment often hinders action in the field. The province therefore presents a challenge for humanitarian workers who must both assist populations in emergency situations and accompany displaced people who have been living in camps for several years.
The vast majority of these displaced people (81%) are concentrated in the sub-prefecture of Bambari, where TGH teams are present and develop a multisectoral approach, targeting both displaced and host populations.
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
TGH is responding to the emergency situation in IDP camps by supplying and distributing water by tanker trucks (water trucking), chlorinating water points, hygiene promotion, and maintaining sanitary facilities.
Emergency health areas are being set up in villages along the axes, accompanied by hygiene awareness sessions. TGH rehabilitates boreholes and builds garbage pits. Semi-sustainable latrines and shower cabins are also built, taking into account gender protection issues.
- Emergency Education
Keeping displaced and host children in school are a major challenge in times of crisis. It includes access to primary education and quality psychosocial support. Learning conditions have been improved through the capacity building of teachers, the making of school furniture, the rehabilitation and construction of schools and the distribution of teaching kits.
Awareness-raising activities on the importance of education for all - especially for girls - have been carried out in partnership with the NGO Nourrir.
Finally, ETAPE³ facilities have been set up to provide an emergency educational response to the children of displaced persons.
- Food Security and Livelihoods
TGH has a key role in food security, both in terms of emergency for displaced populations and in improving the resilience of host and returning populations.
Emergency assistance reduced food and economic vulnerabilities by providing 6 000returnee and resident households with food seeds and agricultural tools. Farmers and households have received training on technical itineraries and agro-ecological practices (food and market gardening). Training was also provided to auxiliary agents and managers of veterinary centers.
40 women's groups received equipment to facilitate the transport of products for sale at the markets, and income-generating activities were set up and enhanced within 19 Parents' Associations and 800 households.
According to UNICEF, if nothing is done to fight inequality, 167 million children will live in extreme poverty around the world in 2030. Many of them live on the streets, and in Bangui - although very few studies are carried out to count them - there are several thousand of them, including those moving back and forth between the house and the street.
The causes of these situations of disruption are multiple. They can be of a sociopsychological, economic or family-related origin, forced or voluntary (children driven out, abused children, lack of means of subsistence within the household, etc.).
Street children are vulnerable, exposed to multiple forms of violence, abuse by peers or adults (rape, theft, economic exploitation, etc.), and to drug use, prostitution or HIV/AIDS infection.
TGH is developing an education/protection multi-sectoral programme in Bangui, Brazzaville and Pointe Noire (Republic of the Congo).
Public measures aimed at vulnerable groups - and more particularly at children at risk - are poorly developed. The national civil society organizations mobilized on this issue have been very strongly impacted by the political, security and economic crises of recent years. They are sorely lacking in financial, material and human resources.
This is the case of the Voix du Cœur Foundation, a Central African organisation committed to the protection of street children, which participates in the rounds organised by TGH to meet children in the street. These rounds help establish a relationship of trust with social workers and initiate a process of social and family reintegration. TGH is working to strengthen the capacities of this partner, in order to gradually hand over the project.
The Vakaga Prefecture, the geographical starting point of the Seleka rebellion in 2012, is the first region to have suffered the consequences of the crisis that still affect CAR today. The region, geographically, economically, socially and politically isolated, is neglected by the central government.
Very few public services and infrastructure are still available, and population density is very low. The security situation is certainly improving, but humanitarian needs remain very high, and few NGOs are present in the prefecture.
TGH is currently active in the sectors of Education and Food Security.
- Education / Protection
Two axes have been chosen to meet the overall educational needs of the Vakaga: material support (school construction) to ensure access to education in a healthy and protective environment, and human resources support (training activities for parent-teachers) to ensure quality education for all.
An awareness session on the importance of education - especially for girls - accompanies these actions.
- Food Security and Livelihoods
Training on the sustainable management of natural resources is provided, particularly to beekeepers and women's groups.
The improvement of animal health goes through veterinary centers and via vaccination campaigns, in partnership with the National Livestock Development Agency (ANDE) and the National Federation of Central African Cattle Breeders (FNEC).
Agricultural production (market gardening and field crops) is valued to improve household incomes, for example through support for the local multiplication of groundnut, rice, sorghum and cassava seeds.
¹ Report of the Commission on Population Movement
² Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) are required for any humanitarian crisis that requires the support of more than one agency. They are created from the Humanitarian Needs Overview, which provides baseline data and analysis of the intensity of the crisis and identifies the most urgent humanitarian needs.
³ Temporary Learning and Child Protection Areas: an emergency education facility that provides children with a place to stay and recreational activities.