Central African Republic, known as CAR, is one of the world’s least developed countries, one of its most fragile, and torn by strife.
A civil war that began in 2004 in opposition to then-President François Bozizé escalated in 2013 when Bozizé was deposed in an overthrow led predominantly by the Seleka armed group. Seleka and its opposition, the Anti-Balaka, entered into a brutal conflict, killing thousands of people and displacing more than half a millioncivilians in a country of less than 5 million.
In 2016, a new President, Faustin-Archange Touadéra was elected. In February 2019, the Government of CAR and 14 armed groups signed the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, also called the Khartoum Accord.
Nonetheless, violence resumed in the run up to the December 2020 presidential election, as former president Bozizé was ruled ineligible to run for office by the country’s top court and President Touadera won re-election. Fighting ensued between rebel groups supporting former President Bozizé and those supporting the CAR government.
And as is true in all wars, it is the civilians who suffer. Today, the Central African Republic is in the midst of a humanitarian emergency not seen at this scale since 2015. Wide-spread violence following the latest presidential elections, political instability, the presence of explosive ordnance along key transport routes, flooding, and the COVID-19 pandemic have led to worsening humanitarian needs while hampering delivery of life-saving assistance that has left about 2.6 million people facing acute food insecurity. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is expected to rise in to 3.1 million people.
The United States remains the largest donor of humanitarian assistance in CAR.
In late November, USAID Administrator Samantha Power announced an additional tranche of 8.9 million dollars in humanitarian assistance for the people of the Central African Republic. The funds will increase access to food assistance, as well as provide treatment for malnourished children and support for mothers and caregivers. It will help rehabilitate roads to improve humanitarian access, support the displaced, and provide case management and psychosocial support for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse.
The United States stands in partnership with the Central African people as they navigate interrelated crises and encourages other donors to increase their lifesaving aid.