Central African Republic
View photo slideshow from peace meeting at Central Mosque in Bangui on 22 May 2014.
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries in the World, ranking 180 out of 186 countries in the Human Development Index. Following the Séléka attacks in December 2012, the Country was plunged into a state of anarchy, marked by a complete collapse of law and order.
The Country was already underdeveloped and had not achieved its objectives laid out in the Millenium Development Goals, with people below the poverty line up to 78% in some areas. This saw a dramatic rise with the onset of the conflict, with more than 250,000 people displaced and increased food insecurity due to the disturbance to the agricultural sector. Lack of seeds and crops led to a sharp rise in prices of basic commodities.
The population is also affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, with 4.9% recorded as being infected. Rural communities, which had enjoyed a brief period of stability, saw their economic bases destroyed once again. The capital (Bangui) has also been badly affected with the deficit of governance and the decay of the justice and security systems since the coup d'état.
The CNT (Conseil National de Transition/ Transition National Council) approved by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the international community, has to facilitate the return to democracy and the rule of law. Civil participation in the development is currently weak at every level because of the low capacities of the various sectors and the low level of communication between the State and Civil Society. This absence of dialogue prevents the strengthening of social participation and hence the reinstatement of good governance and conflict prevention.
As well the crisis situation which prevails at present in the CAR, there are also numerous factors connected to poverty, which instigate instigate conflict. Poor governance in the management of the State (affecting natural resources, worsened by a lack of will and the meddling of neighbouring countries) and at the level of local authorities (absence of decentralization, absence of clear accountability, the ineffective management of natural resources, with conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, particularly in Ouham) has caused frustration amongst those within Society that are working for positive change and has excluded their concerns and participation in Governance at all levels.
There has also been a strong increase in partisan behaviours along ethnic and/or religious basis, with noticeable antipathy towards Muslims and a North/South split with a concentration of power and centralised Governance in Bangui. Thus it essential to work at the community level to defuse these potential sources of renewed conflict by the creation of a framework of exchange and dialogue, along with the reconstruction of the social structure, training of Community and implementation of community peace projects in order to improve these communities living conditions, in association with the local authorities.
Areas of focus
ACORD's strategy in the Central African Republic targets communities that have experienced conflict. The aim is to enhance peace building and socio-economic reintegration of young men and women who have been part of armed rebel groups or involved in armed conflict. The action plan revolves around two main approaches: livelihoods and leadership, as well as capacity development in areas of negotiations among different social sectors.
>> Livelihood development by strengthening community leadership: It is necessary to rebuild the human capital and reactivate community and social synergies. This can create space for the re-emergence of credible local leadership that are capable of participating actively and responsibly in addressing the challenges of physical, social and economic reconstruction. We will also strengthen capacities of development actors in building local mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation.
>> Strengthen mechanisms of negotiation and interaction among civil society actors and between the civil society and the public to re-establish the space where communities can enjoy freedoms. This intervention will contribute to strengthening the citizen involvement in development issues thus adding legitimacy and credibility to the leadership structure. All for the benefit of millions of populations, the approach will nurture responsible participation from different sectors of the society. The main entry points have been identified to enhance the intervention success :
- Peace building through dialogue to provide a secure environment where development projects can be implemented
- Decentralisation of service delivery and community cohesion
- Economic governance including development of the agricultural sector, the wood industry, tea and cotton production and other economic resources.
Where we work in Central African Republic
ACORD is based in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. We plan to open a satellite office at Bossangoa, the main hub within Ouham region, and target Ouham, Ouham Pende and Ombella Mpoko.
View ACORD in the Central African Republic in a larger map
Our partners in the Central African Republic
We have a network of local partners including OCDH. CCFD - Terre Solidaire has been supporting our pilot interventions. Recent donor partners include NED, Caritas Suisse, Caritas France, the European Union and the Dutch Government.
Photos, videos and publications
Photos of ACORD's work in CAR can be sent upon request. Contact us by e-mail.
How you can support communities in the Central African Republic
With over 72% of the population in the country living in a situation of post-conflict, your support to our projects in the Central African Republic can significantly make a difference for a mother who seeks the means to support her family or an orphan who has been left with the responsibility of providing for his or her siblings. Your support can also contribute towards creating awareness about conflict transformation among the population at large.
Make a donation now! For more information on our work in the Central African Republic please sign up to our newsletter, visit your nearest ACORD office or call us.