Central African Republic

Overview of crisis related activities

Last updated 3 September 2015

Download the current Crisis Update: August 2015
Previous updates: May 2015
, December 2014, September 2014, June 2014 (PDF)
See all coverage of MSF's response to the CAR crisis

Violent fighting broke out in Bangui on 5 December 2013 and violence has been sweeping through Central African Republic (CAR) since then. Much of the country has been affected, with extreme levels of violence occurring in the capital, Bangui.

The Central African Republic (CAR) faces a situation of chronic and prolonged health emergency. The political crisis and violence that shook the country since 2013 have exacerbated the shortage of health services as a whole and 72 percent of health facilities have been damaged or destroyed. At present, the vast majority of public health structures depend on the support of humanitarian and religious organizations.

  • In July 2015, 426,000 people are still displaced in CAR, including 36,900 in Bangui. In addition, 460,000 Central African refugees fled to neighbouring countries, mainly to Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In total, 20 percent of the Central African population is displaced internally or has fled to neighbouring countries.
  • While in 2015 violence has declined in Bangui and in certain regions of CAR, the ongoing activities of some armed groups and the prevalence of organized crime make the security situation very volatile. Continuing insecurity in many areas of the country continues to obstruct MSF's ability to reach people in need of assistance. MSF mobile clinics have been stopped many times by armed elements in the vicinity of cities such as Batangafo, Kabo, Bambari and Boguila. Since May, a sharp increase in incidents against NGOs was observed in some areas.
  • The situation of isolated populations remains extremely worrying. In Carnot, Muslim populations have been living trapped in an enclave for over a year. MSF continues to support them, using mobile clinics and a referral system is in place for the hospitalization of patients. As for displaced people seeking refuge in the Bishopric of Berbérati, all were able to return to their homes between late July and early August 2015.
  • While vaccination coverage rates in CAR were already well below national targets before 2013, the crisis has led to a decrease of vaccination activities in the country. For MSF, vaccination remains a priority to protect the health of young children. Earlier this year, MSF organized mass vaccination campaigns against measles in the IDP camp and the city of Batangafo and in the towns of Bria, Nzako and Bakouma in the eastern part of the country. Another vaccination campaign took place in the towns of Berbérati and Mbako in May. In total, more than 60,000 children have been vaccinated against measles.

  • Malaria is the leading cause of death among children under five. To protect children during the peak malaria season, in early July MSF launched a preventive treatment strategy for malaria in the regions of Batangafo, Kabo and Ndele. In total, more than 15,000 children have received treatment during the first round of this preventive approach.
  • Alerted by the displacement of thousands of people fleeing the fighting in Kouango area, in the south of the country, MSF launched an emergency project in April 2015. Mobile clinics were set up and MSF provided support to the Kouango hospital for secondary care. In three months, emergency teams provided more than 1,100 consultations and admitted 362 patients. The operation ended on 30 June and the MSF emergency team is ready to respond to other emergencies in the country.

As at July 2015, MSF runs sixteen projects spread across the country. In addition, projects assist Central African refugees in Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Our projects focus particularly on malaria, vaccination and maternal and child health. More than 2,400 national and 230 international staff members are working together.

MSF has been working in CAR since 1997. Since December 2013, in response to the crisis, MSF has doubled its medical assistance in CAR and is running additional projects for Central African refugees in neighbouring countries.

Download the current crisis update (PDF) to learn more.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1997.

2014 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 1,401,800
Patients treated for malaria 749,100
Surgical interventions 13,400
No. staff in 2014 2,593
2014 Expenditure €53 million

Figures from 2014 International Activity Report
and 2014 International Financial Report

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