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Central African Republic

A landlocked African nation about the size of Texas, Central African Republic (CAR) has been plagued by almost constant unrest and is one of the poorest countries in the world. For many of the country’s 4.5 million inhabitants, violence is an everyday threat. With numerous armed groups operating throughout CAR, internal displacement and refugee movements are common.

In March 2013, a rebel coalition seized power in CAR’s capital city, Bangui, amid violence and widespread looting. Since December 2012, an estimated 368,400 people have been displaced within CAR, while more than 464,000 Central Africans have fled to neighboring countries.

In addition to internal violence, CAR is surrounded by other countries experiencing conflict, displacement, and instability: Chad, Darfur, South Sudan, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Refugees from these neighboring countries reside in camps, primarily near the border. The weakness or absence of government security, health, education, and agricultural services has created a complex humanitarian emergency.

International Medical Corps works in six provinces across CAR, namely Haute-Kotto, Vakaga, Ouham, Ouaka, Haut-Mbomou, and Ombella-Mpoko. Since 2007 we have provided assistance and protection to Darfurian refugees as well as Congolese refugees and host communities living in Zemio. International Medical Corps provides curative and preventive consultations, maternal and child health care, child protection, nutrition services, HIV/AIDS prevention, health education, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response and hygiene promotion activities to refugees and host communities. In other areas, we also support government health facilities with medicines and supplies, the provision of health care services and the rehabilitation of health posts.

To help those most in need, International Medical Corps operates mobile medical units that travel – sometimes up to three days by motorbike - throughout the country to offer vital health care services to the country’s most isolated villages.

QUICK FACTS

  • Population

    Population
    5.4 Million

  • age

    Median Age
    19.4 Years

  • life

    Life Expectancy
    51.81 Years

  • life

    Refugees
    24,793

  • life

    Internally Displaced Persons
    368,400

  • life

    Fertility Rate
    4.41 children per mother

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    Infant Mortality Rate
    90.63 deaths/1000 live births

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    HIV/AIDS Rate
    4.25 percent

  • Infant Mortality Rate

    Literacy Rate
    36.8 percent

OUR PROGRAMS IN CAR

  • Population

    Family and Community Health

  • Population

    Women's and Children's Health

  • Population

    Mental Health And Psychosocial Support


CURRENT PROGRAMS

Primary Health Care

Due to ongoing conflict within CAR, many Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have fled their homes and now reside in makeshift settlements throughout the country. As the fighting continues in Darfur, many refugees have also resettled in CAR, intensifying the need for emergency relief services.

To provide primary health care services to these vulnerable populations, International Medical Corps rebuilt and re-equipped two health centers in the isolated northeastern border region. Our assessment teams found the IDPs, refugees and host populations extremely vulnerable to malnutrition and disease, as water, sanitation, food, and health care were limited, if not completely nonexistent.

For the first time in two years, Central Africans near the health center in Sam Ouandja are receiving primary health care services as well as safe deliveries, surgical procedures, pharmaceutical prescriptions and vaccinations. Another health center in Ouadda Djalle is the only functional referral service for over 200 miles. It has made services available to 18,000 otherwise isolated residents, including 3,000 refugees. To ensure that good health becomes sustainable, we have also trained traditional birth attendants and community health workers.

Protection

In May 2015, International Medical Corps conducted trainings in Birao town and remote areas of the Vakaga region, reaching 7758 community members to raise awareness about gender-based violence and to advocate for the safety and protection of children and youth. Community leaders, local authorities, health care providers, and representatives from the local women’s association participated in trainings on gender-based violence and children’s rights. International Medical Corps continues to collaborate with the training participants through the local women’s association to reinforce their capacity and provide refresher trainings, as needed. In addition, the International Medical Corps team provides on-site training and supervision to health care providers who are working directly with survivors of gender-based violence. While cultural and sociopolitical factors are obstacles to reporting gender-based violence in the community, International Medical Corps aims to strengthen community awareness of gender-based violence and child protection concerns, while ensuring that survivors have access to necessary resources.

RESOURCES

Central African Republic Capabilities Statement

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