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Crisis in the Central African Republic – FAIRMED standing firm

Renewed violence in the Central African Republic is forcing large numbers of people to flee their homes. For those fleeing as well as those left behind, access to basic necessities such as clean water, food and sanitation is lacking.

The project site is already very difficult to reach and the renewed violence is making the supply of medication even harder.

After a brief period with little conflict, the crisis in Central Africa has experienced another dramatic deterioration. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of those displaced by the violence since 2013 has now reached a tragic high point. At this time, over one million people are displaced, either within the country or in neighbouring countries.

One in every two Central Africans is in urgent need of humanitarian aid. However, the difficult security situation has led many humanitarian organisations to withdraw from the country. FAIRMED is one of the few to remain.

Finding a speck of peace

Up to now, the project area in which FAIRMED has been active since 2010 has not been struck as hard as other areas from the renewed violence, but the unrest in surrounding areas is impeding work on the ground. FAIRMED country coordinators Emmanuel Mbouem Mbeck reports from the capital Bangui: “The population of Lobaye is already difficult to reach as it is so remote. The conflicts are obstructing the supply of important medications, but it is the lack of personnel that poses the greatest challenge for us.”

The violent clashes, which are mostly in the southeast, northeast and northwest of the country, are causing many to look for protection in the southwest region. “For the people, the situation is fraught, and many places are marred by destruction and violence. Despite this, FAIRMED has largely managed to preserve the health structures in the project area,” says Emmanuel Mbouem Mbeck.

Just in April this year FAIRMED country coordinator, Emmanuel Mbouem Mbeck, met with FAIRMED Head of Program, Bart Vander Plaetse, in Bangui. Since then the security situation has worsend drastically.