Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for the Central African Republic 2008

16 July 2008

The country’s 197,000 displaced people, many of whom had to flee their villages with only the clothes they were wearing, are only the most obvious consequence of the violence.  Most people in areas struck by conflict and violence have no access to clean water, health centres, schools or their fields.  Thousands of women and girls have been raped and are in much need of health, psychosocial and judicial support facilities.  With a growing number of aid agencies and improvements in access and data collection, the full picture of the gravity of the crisis is now emerging.  But while the scale of suffering is startling, improved information gathering is also enabling the Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team (HDPT), which regroups the aid agencies working in the country, to design and coordinate their programmes more effectively, reach the most vulnerable, and make use of opportunities for economic recovery in areas where people are returning to their homes.  To make the most of improved information, the HDPT has for the first time brought virtually all available data from assessments, surveys, and evaluations together in a comprehensive, analytical document: the Needs Analysis Framework.  Building on this, the team has revised its strategy for humanitarian action until the end of the year.  The overall strategic priorities – providing protection and emergency assistance, and linking humanitarian assistance to recovery and development – remain the same, but the objectives and projects in each sector have been reviewed rigorously and vetted by both clusters and the Humanitarian Coordinator.

Each of the 80 projects in this aid programme that still require funding for 2008 has been ranked as immediate, high or medium priority, according to six clear criteria.  Projects are ranked higher if they are in one of the five priority sectors (education, food security, health, protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene), build local capacities, are in an area where no other organisation provides relief, address gender issues or sexual violence, provide a link to early recovery, or facilitate other humanitarian action.  Projects below medium priority were not included.  To continue assisting and protecting one million people struck by violence and another million at risk, the organisations participating in this Coordinated Aid Programme require $48.9 million until the end of the year.  Of this, $2.6 million is for projects ranked as immediate priority and $6.7 million for high priority projects.  Donors, who have already generously committed $70.7 million of the $114.04 million needed for all of 2008, need to step up their support to the people of CAR by funding aid agencies in the country, directly or by contributing to the new Common Humanitarian Fund scheduled to be established on 1 July, 2008.

People in the Central African Republic (CAR) have a reason to hope.  The conflict between three militant groups and the government has ended, at least on paper.  The army has ceased the worst forms of reprisals against civilians in the north and has, together with the police and justice system, committed to reform.  An international peacekeeping force has deployed to the Vakaga region in the northeast, which shares a porous border with Darfur and eastern Chad.  Tackling issues of chronic poverty and underdevelopment, the government has drawn up a long-term development plan and donors have started to re-engage, pledging US$[1]600million in development aid over the next three years.  In the more immediate term aid agencies are reaching more people struck by conflict and violence than ever before with human rights protection, emergency assistance, and recovery programmes.

And yet, despite these positive changes, too many Central Africans still live in fear and the threat to security and progress is growing ever more complex.  Indeed, the sources of violent conflict in CAR have multiplied, with attacks and violence at the hands of brutal bandits becoming the grimmest source of human suffering in the country.  Criminal gangs, who rob travellers, assail, loot, and burn entire villages, and kidnap children for ransom are responsible for one third of all continuing displacement.  They have forced 100,000 Central Africans to flee from their villages or to remain displaced, whether in the bush, in towns, or in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.  Over the first half of 2008, 10,000 Central Africans fled to Chad, and at least 13,000 were forced into internal displacement because of banditry.  And in an ominous development, the Lord’s Resistance Army has entered CAR, killing, kidnapping, and looting in the country’s south-east.

[1]  All dollar signs in this document are United States dollars.  Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@reliefweb.int), which will display its requirements and funding on the CAP 2008 page. 

Document History

16 July 2008

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