Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Central African Republic 2012
The Central African Republic (CAR) continues to face severe and protracted humanitarian challenges. An estimated 1.9 million people, half of the country’s population, need humanitarian assistance and the majority of people in the country have very limited access to health, sanitation and education.
A proliferation of armed groups and rampant banditry havetriggered high insecurity in several regions over the last few years, causing widespread displacement. By the end of April 2012, CAR still had more than 75,000 internally displaced people and close to 40,000 returnees in need of assistance. 2012 saw the new displacement of more than 25,500 people, mostly in the north-centre region. CAR is also hosting an estimated 19,867 refugees from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as asylum-seekers of varying nationalities. Furthermore, 152,432 Central African refugees live in neighbouring countries.
During the first half of 2012 significant progress was made towards political peace negotiations between the Government and the country’s two main rebel groups. The Government participated in a peace sensitization campaign; resumed the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process; and actively participated in the development of regional security strategies with neighbouring countries. The official dissolution of the Armée Populaire pour La Restauration de La Démocratie(Popular Army to Restore Democracy/APRD) in May, the country’s largest rebel group, marked a genuine step forward in the country’s peace process.
Meanwhile, the security situation improved in the north-east following the cease-fire agreement signed between two rebel groups in October 2011 enabling humanitarian access to previously isolated populations. Further negotiations for a lasting peace continue between the Government and these groups. The tripartite force consisting of military troops from Chad, Sudan and CAR was deployed to the extreme north-eastern region of the Vakaga at the beginning of the year to secure the border and prevent attacks from banditry or armed forces from abroad.
The disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process resumed in the central-north and the north-west, with 3,271 ex-combatants from three rebel groups disarmed and demobilized. This could improve security in these regions and encourage further returns. The repatriation of the 150,456 Central African refugees living in Cameroon and Chad, planned for 2013, is currently being discussed by the national governments concerned and the UNHCR. In the meantime, UNHCR has already registered 8,754 refugees who have returned spontaneously from Chad to their regions of origin in north-western CAR since the beginning of 2011. However, the disarmament and demobilization process of rebel groups in the north-east is still delayed despite the improved security situation.
Despite these positive developments, the security situation has deteriorated in the Kabo-Batangafo-Kaga-Bandoro triangle in the north–centre following a joint military operation organized by the Chadian and Central African army against the Chadian rebel group Front Populaire pour le Redressement (Popular Front for Reconstruction). This operation led to the destruction of villages and farms and the displacement of over 2,500 people in the area. In addition, conflicts between cattle breeders and farmers during the transhumance period increased in violence, displacing more than 5,000 people between February and May around the town of Batangafo.
In addition, attacks perpetrated in the south-east by the Lord’s Resistance Army increased during the first quarter of the year, instilling fear among the population. Some 5,361 refugees and 20,362 people remain displaced in the region due to Lord’s Resistance Army activities. People living in towns with national or international security forces are only guaranteed security within a five-kilometre radius of the towns. Most settlements in the region have little or no security forces to protect their population, forcing many people to flee their villages to more secure locations.
The Consolidated Appeal remains focused on its two strategic objectives: providing basic services to affected people in respect of their fundamental rights, and strengthening their resilience capacity by supporting their empowerment. The humanitarian response remains critical while the country seeks to progress towards recovery and development. The humanitarian priorities will be adapted according to the varying context to include both life-saving and early recovery activities. This approach aims to reduce the population’s dependence on humanitarian aid through the restoration of households’ self-subsistence capacities. As a result, this will also contribute to stabilization and peace consolidation in the targeted areas.
During the mid-year review of the 2012 Consolidated Appeal, 13 new projects were added mainly addressing the humanitarian crises in the north-east and the south-east. As of 30 June, $65 million (53%) of funding has been received against the revised requirement of $124 million for 120 projects.
Despite adding new projects, the overall requirements of the appeal decreased from initial $134 million to $124 million, which is mostly due to decreased requirements in the Food Security Cluster. The funding needs of WFP projects were reduced to reflect identified needs based on evaluations during the first half of the year.
While humanitarian needs remain high, humanitarian funding for CAR has faced a steady decline in recent years, placing constraints on the humanitarian capacity and response in the country. The Humanitarian Country Team therefore urges donors to fund the 2012 Consolidated Appeal in order to enable humanitarian partners to address the basics needs of the 1.9 million vulnerable people in CAR.