Over the past two years, the Central African Republic has experienced a major political crisis which has resulted in a violent conflict that has affected nearly the entire population.
The security situation continues to deteriorate, with community tensions and sectarian violence on the rise. More than a million people have fled their homes for safety from December 2013. Around 2.7 million people, over half the population, are in immediate need of humanitarian assistance. In addition to protection from violence, the priority needs are food, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter and basic household items.
The humanitarian consequences of the crisis are being felt across the region. Since December 2013 alone, 460,000 CAR refugees have been registered in neighbouring countries - in Chad, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congo.
The CAR is a landlocked and sparsely populated country of 4.6 million habitants. Continued socio-political instability, a consequence of rebellions, coups and inter-ethnic fighting during the last three decades, has hampered development. This has caused a deterioration of basic social and economic infrastructure and has forced many young children out of school.
The situation remains unstable, tense and unpredictable. Recent fighting has hindered humanitarian access to relief agencies working to support thousands of displaced people in desperate need in the capital. The humanitarian space is largely compromised due to violence, obstructions and barriers erected by armed groups. The risk of a humanitarian catastrophe in CAR is significant.