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Where is the Central African Republic? 

The Central African Republic is a landlocked country in Central Africa.

Our impact

Overview

Since its independence in 1960, the Central African Republic (CAR) has had a tumultuous and violent history. A military coup in 2012 sparked a brutal conflict, and soon after this an armed group sought to take control of regions across the country. The conflict saw the looting and burning of land and the displacement of up to half of the population.

Even though the government has regained control over most areas, some locations still experience attacks by armed groups. Nearly 600,000 people have been internally displaced as a result of the ongoing violence, and 700,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. This has left CAR in turmoil; in 2021 it was estimated that 2.8 million people living in the country are in need of humanitarian aid. 

Sarah stands in the classroom where she teaches sewing and literacy to local women in Bangui, Central Africa Republic. Credit: Hazel Thompson/Tearfund

Our work in the Central African Republic

Tearfund has been working in the CAR through a network of partner churches since 1978. In 2013, we started our own operational programme within the country.

Supporting communities affected by conflict

We are responding to the immediate needs of people affected by conflict – such as helping people access nutritious food, clean water and adequate sanitation facilities.

We are also helping people rebuild their lives by providing training in sustainable farming methods, so that people who have been displaced from their homes can start to rebuild their lives and grow their own food. We focus on empowering people, especially women, to gain new skills and sources of income.

Empowering women

Our empowerment approach towards women involves providing support and training to equip women with the skills and confidence to start their own small business ventures. We support women to overcome the barriers which hinder their access to skills, finances, decision-making spaces and leadership positions. Tearfund’s expertise in this area includes supporting women with literacy and numeracy skills, as well as vocational and business skills training.

Peacebuilding

Rebuilding relationships across a divided country is crucial to sustain development achievements and reduce the risk of future conflicts. Our peacebuilding programmes include the training of community leaders as peacebuilding champions, and supporting intercommunity initiatives such as football tournaments and drama sketches.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

We seek to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases, and to strengthen the capacity of local structures to provide sustainable water services. Our focus is on: increasing people’s access to safe water sources; water treatment and storage; and promoting hygiene and sanitation best practices.

Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV)

We work to address and prevent sexual and gender-based violence. One of the ways we do this is through our Transforming Masculinities programme with men and boys which addresses harmful gender norms and stereotypes which perpetuate violence towards women.

We also support survivors by helping them reintegrate into society with community savings groups and referring them to supportive services.

Yolande smiles as she reads her bible. Yolande received literacy training from Tearfund’s local partner in Bangui, Central African Republic. Credit: Hazel Thompson/Tearfund

Partnerships and funding

Tearfund is a member of the NGO Forum Coordination Committee, where we have the opportunity to interact with the international NGO community and exchange learning and best practices.

We are also a member of the following United Nations humanitarian clusters: Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV), Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). This helps us to coordinate with local organisations as well as the government, and to participate in CAR’s  humanitarian response programming.

Tearfund has worked in consortium with World Vision International, CORDAID, and International Medical Corps (IMC) for joint humanitarian responses throughout CAR. With our local partners, we have also worked with the National Alliance for Bible Translation (ACTBA) and the Central African Evangelical Alliance.

Tearfund works closely with host government institutions in CAR, including the National Water Agency (ANEA), the Directorate of Literacy, and the Ministries of Agriculture, Women and Social Welfare

Tearfund’s programmes in CAR have received funding from:

USAID/Bureau of Humanitarian Aid funded a project focused on restoring the livelihoods and health of people affected by conflict. Tearfund provided WASH and food security assistance.

European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) funded WASH work by Tearfund which focused on health centres across the Bambari area – providing clean water, hygiene kits and access to latrines and shower blocks for those at the health centres and the hospital.

The UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) funded a three-year project empowering women through adult literacy, vocational and skills training and the establishment of self-help groups. This enabled more than 10,000 women to be economically empowered.

Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) funded our emergency WASH response for internally displaced people in Boda.

Irish Aid funded a project focused on restoring the livelihoods of crisis-affected people. This involved working with church leaders and volunteers to provide cooking demonstrations, community mobilisation and the provision of seeds and tools to encourage self-sufficiency.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) funded the provision of emergency food assistance to households affected by conflict in Lobaye.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA) funded an integrated WASH and food security project to improve the living conditions of conflict-affected communities.

Sorella practises reading and writing. Sorella learned to count and to read at an adult learning programme run by Tearfund’s local partner in Bangui, Central Africa Republic. Credit: Hazel Thompson/Tearfund

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