Government and armed rebel forces in the Central African Republic’s (CAR) capital of Bangui have continued to engage in conflict since December 5, with civilians caught in the crossfire – nearly 400 have been killed since Thursday. Having operated in CAR since 2007, International Medical Corps’ local teams are monitoring ongoing developments and are responding to the escalating humanitarian crisis by delivering vital health care services. The organization is prepared to expand and deliver a comprehensive humanitarian response as needed.
Prior to the latest uptick in violence, CAR already had significant humanitarian needs. With the deteriorating security situation, more civilians will continue to suffer and be cut off from vital health care services.
The northern and eastern areas of CAR in which International Medical Corps works are characterized by insecurity and periods of conflict between active rebel groups, which have had a devastating impact on health, education, and water and sanitation services in this part of the country, leaving thousands without access to basic services. Despite the ongoing violence, International Medical Corps in CAR continues to provide critical health services in areas most affected and is expanding its emergency health services to the western province of Ouham, where intense fighting is taking place. The organization’s services include emergency health care, maternal and child health care, child protection, nutrition services, HIV/AIDS prevention, health education, gender-based violence prevention and response, and hygiene promotion activities.
International Medical Corps has decades of experience implementing medical programs in austere environments including during conflicts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Darfur, Libya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.