The Central African Republic (CAR) continues to experience a complex and dire humanitarian crisis. One out of four Central Africans is either internally displaced or a refugee. The number of people in need of assistance and protection has increased from 2.5 million to 2.9 million, a 16 per cent increase compared to 2018. Of those, 1.9 million require acute and immediate assistance.
In order to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people, the Central African Government and the Humanitarian Country Team today launched the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). Requesting US$ 430.7 million, the HRP aims to assist 1.7 million extremely vulnerable Central Africans. Based on three strategic objectives, this plan aims to save lives, strengthen the protection of affected people and to preserve human dignity while enabling access to lifesaving services.
The launch was marked by the deterioration of the security situation, with an increase in attacks against civilians and aid workers. More than 1,000 protection incidents per month were reported in 2018 and the number of incidents against humanitarian actors has increased alarmingly from 337 in 2017 to 396 incidents in 2018.
Humanitarian workers give hope to civilians in need
Humanitarian Coordinator for the Central African Republic, Ms. Najat Rochdi, during her visit to Batangafo town. Credit: OCHA/R. Bruno
"Since my arrival in CAR two years ago, I have witnessed the suffering of an exhausted population but also of its resilience, which commands admiration, many achievements of the humanitarian response, the frustrations that accompanied them and operational gaps and challenges", said the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Central African Republic, Ms. Najat Rochdi. "I was also the privileged witness to the courage and dedication of the humanitarian workers, their continued commitment to the people of the Central African Republic in an often fragile and perilous environment."
The CAR is experiencing a new cycle of violence, which has spread to several parts of the country, including in areas considered relatively stable, generating growing humanitarian needs and reducing the fragile results and progress already obtained. Civilians, especially women and children, continue to suffer the consequences of the conflict and are more exposed to protection risks and needs acute humanitarian workers.
The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan places protection of civilians at the center of the humanitarian action. The response strategy will be articulated around 3 pillars:
- Prioritization - including a detailed analysis of the severity of needs at sectoral and intersectoral levels;
- A more integrated humanitarian response;
- Decentralization and an increase in humanitarian presence closer to the affected populations.
Despite a bleak picture of growing needs in all sectors, Ms. Najat Rochdi emphasized the dedication, courage and determination of humanitarian actors in their mission to give hope to affected children, women and men. “In 2019, we will not simply maintain our efforts, we will have to intensify them if we want to avoid the worst. That is why I call upon donors not to forget the Central African Republic and to help us mobilize the necessary funding to consolidate the achievements of previous years and to support the humanitarian response,” she said.
In 2018, $253.9 million was raised thanks to the donors’ generosity, which has enabled the provision of assistance to more than 900,000 people within the Humanitarian Response Plan framework.