Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for the Central African Republic 2009
The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the poorest countries in the world and health indicators are among the worst on the African continent. Decades of conflict and neglect have left the country in ruins, its people hungry, its classrooms deserted, its healthcare system in tatters. While the government and the armed opposition have stepped back from the brink of civil war, new rebel groups, splinters within rebel groups and bandits and self-defence groups are still creating flashpoints of violence across the north of the country, causing yet more people to flee their homes – an estimated 28,000 more have taken refuge either in the bush or over the border into one of CAR’s neighbouring countries this year already.
For two years, the people of CAR have nurtured a fragile hope of peace against a backdrop of violence, impunity, and grinding poverty. The first steps to turn back the tide of violence, neglect, and chronic under-investment in CAR are underway thanks to the government’s long-term plan to combat poverty and nurture development with the support of its international partners. The building blocks for peace are also now in place thanks to the support of the Peace Building Commission.
Humanitarian agencies in CAR are responding faster than ever to needs across the country, increasing their reach deep into remote areas, and strengthening the coordination of the growing body of agencies. Life-saving assistance for those who have been forced to flee violence is essential but the agencies responsible have faced challenges not only of increasing violence but also of sporadic government limits on humanitarian access to certain zones. As the institutions of peace-building are taking shape, agencies working on the ground are carrying out the task of providing shelter and support for those who are choosing to turn their back on violence and join the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programme (DDR) as well as preparing communities as they move towards a new political reality in the country. Education has become a major focus of the Humanitarian and Development Partnership Team (HDPT – CAR’s alliance of UN agencies and NGOs) and major successes have been achieved in bringing children back into the schoolrooms in CAR.
This mid-year review of the CAP 2009 presents the updated common humanitarian strategy for CAR. The members of the HDPT have used more rigour than ever in scrutinizing projects, assessing objectives, and re-framing goals for the remainder of this important year for the country. Humanitarian partners submitted 114 projects that are in line with this strategy. The total revised amount requested for 2009 is US$97.3 million for life-saving assistance, human rights protection, education and other humanitarian programmes. Each of the 93 projects in this aid programme that still require funding for 2009 has been ranked as immediate, medium or high priority, according to ten clear criteria. Projects are ranked higher if they are in one of the three priority sectors or addresses early recovery, gender or HIV/AIDS as a cross-cutting issue. Projects below medium priority were not included.
To continue saving lives, assisting and protecting hundreds of thousands of people who have been affected by violence, the organizations participating in this Coordinated Aid Programme still require $47.7 million until the end of this year. Of this, $5.3 million is for projects ranked as immediate priority and $15 million for high priority projects. Donors have already generously committed $49.6 million. The HDPT’s prioritization has been rigorous: only $8.4 million of projects in this $97 million appeal are awarded “immediate” priority (the highest ranking). Nonetheless, even this exclusive top priority category is only 37% funded – less than the funding for “high,” the next level (45%). The HDPT urges donors to fully fund the immediate-priority projects.