The humanitarian landscape in the Central African Republic (CAR) has shown signs of improvement in 2023, according to the assessment provided by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Bangui.
The overall vulnerability of the population has diminished, with a notable decrease of 400,000 individuals experiencing extreme vulnerability, attributed to a 25% reduction in reported acts of violence from the previous year. However, despite this positive shift, challenges persist, with 2.8 million people still identified as particularly vulnerable, comprising nearly half of the country’s population.
Tobias Schuldt, the Deputy Head of OCHA in CAR, highlights a deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the southeastern border area (Haut-Mbomou) due to conflicts between armed groups. “In Mbomou, a militia has emerged, a self-defense group in conflict with another armed group.
Currently, there are looting incidents in health centers, attacks on humanitarian workers, and houses being set ablaze. This has resulted in population displacement in an area where humanitarian and general access is extremely challenging.”
Additionally, Schuldt underscores the ripple effects of the war in Sudan on another region, the northeastern transboundary zone (Vakaga). “Due to the war, not only have we witnessed an increase in arriving refugees, but another significant impact is the disruption of cross-border trade.
Today, there is almost no transboundary commerce, causing essential commodities to sometimes double or triple in price. In a context where the population is extremely impoverished, this has a profound impact.”
Despite the strides made in enhancing the overall humanitarian situation in CAR, these localized challenges underscore the complex and interconnected nature of the country’s difficulties. As efforts persist to address vulnerabilities and promote stability, the international community remains vigilant in navigating the intricacies of the Central African Republic’s evolving humanitarian landscape.