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.