Our work in the Central African Republic

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Our work in the Central African Republic

Concern has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since March 2014. The overall goals of our programme in CAR are to provide humanitarian assistance, build the resilience of communities and to alleviate the suffering of conflict-affected communities.

According to the 2017 UNDP Human Development Index, CAR is ranked 188 out of 188 countries in the world. Recent conflict has severely affected the livelihoods and living conditions of over half of the population, and 2.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Farmers at their communal food store near the village of Kolongo in Central African Republic. This community has benefitted from a number of interventions by Concern including a Farmer Field School.

Prolonged conflict has led to a reduction in income and access to food, and communities struggle to meet their basic needs in terms of food security, livelihood, health and education. The destruction of infrastructure has left huge portions of the rural population without access to clean drinking water, has restricted their ability to farm land and grow their own crops for proper nutrition, and impeded their ability to attend local health facilities.

In response, Concern is delivering a multi-sectoral programme addressing these issues around food security, nutrition, livelihoods and sanitation and hygiene, targeting three districts: Ombella M’poko, Lobaye and Ouaka.

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Improving food security

The 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI), which maps hunger levels across the world, found that CAR has the most alarming hunger levels of all 119 countries assessed.

In an effort to address the widespread food insecurity, we have been delivering assistance to displaced households and their host communities. Seeds and tools have also been distributed directly or, more frequently, at voucher and seed fairs where households have more choice. In Lobaye prefecture, we have distributed seeds and tools to 2,800 households and in Kouango prefecture, we have reached 1,500 households and 27 farmer field schools. 

Cash for work schemes

We have also been implementing cash for work programmes. The rehabilitation of roads has helped open up inaccessible areas, and provided additional income for vulnerable households. Currently, 1,500 people in Lobaye prefecture and 500 people in Kouango sub-prefecture work on our cash for work programmes. The cash earned helps households meet their basic needs and purchase assets that were lost during the worst years of the conflict.

Concern team members work with a mobile drilling kit, which is used to provide new water sources for conflict-affected communities in Kouango, Central African Republic.

Safe water and improved sanitation

Concern has been working with communities to restore water points (including boreholes, springs and improved wells) in Ompello M’Poko and Ouaka that had been damaged during the conflict. In Kouango, we have restored 35 water points with support from Irish Aid and OFDA and in Yaloke, we built and equipped four wells serving almost 8,000 people.

Concern Health Promoter, Princia Irebanda, teaches good hygiene practice to children in the village of Boyali in the Central African Republic.

Simultaneously, we are working with communities to promote good sanitation and hygiene practices. Water Management Committees are leading on these activities by focusing on the maintenance of the water supply infrastructure and promoting the health benefits of clean drinking water.

Delivering nutrition services

Concern received funding from Irish Aid for a nutrition programme targeting children under five years of age and pregnant and lactating women in CAR. The programme provides treatment for acute malnutrition and illness, and promotes Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) and caring practices in Bossembele health district.

In 2016, we supported nine health facilities in Lobaye and five health facilities in Ombella M’Poko which provided health and nutrition screening for mothers and children and provided them with medicine.

Concern Health Promoter, Princia Irebanda, teaches good hygiene practice to children in the village of Boyali in the Central African Republic.

Concern also works with community health volunteers who conduct village health and nutrition screening.  The community health volunteers are also instrumental in the delivering maternal and newborn health, breastfeeding and hygiene messaging.

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