One of the world’s poorest countries, the Central African Republic (CAR) has been plagued with bouts of political turmoil and unrest since it won independence from France in 1960.
Since late 2013, more than 500,000 CAR citizens have fled armed violence in their homeland for the relative safety of neighboring Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. At the same time, fighting has driven nearly 700,000 others to seek refuge elsewhere within their own country as internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In early 2018, more than 18,000 CAR citizens fled renewed fighting in their homeland to take refuge in neighboring Chad. The violence and subsequent spike in the flow of Central African refugees into Chad added new pressure to a major displacement crisis that has grown in the region.
With CAR’s total population listed at around 4.7 million, the rise in refugees means that more than one-quarter of the country’s population has been displaced by armed conflict, and the overall situation in the country remains uncertain. Ongoing negotiations for an enduring peace have led to a reduction of fighting in some areas. However, UN peacekeepers struggle to prevent attacks on villages and provide effective protection for civilians and humanitarian workers.
International Medical Corps has been providing lifesaving medical relief in CAR, especially in remote, underserved areas of the country, since 2007.