Central African Republic crisis
When her home was burned down by armed men, Germaine fled for her life
She crossed the Ubangi River and eventually made it to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Now living in exile, she longs to start over and build herself a new home.
Photo: ©UNHCR/John Wessels
Clashes between armed groups have driven over 730,000 people like Germaine from the country. Please help these families find safety and survive.
What’s happening in the Central African Republic?
The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the world’s poorest countries and has long been troubled by unrest. But the last two years have seen fresh and fierce clashes between armed groups – and driven thousands of people from their homes in fear.
UNHCR is working across the country to provide life-saving protection, distribute essential items and set up new community shelters. We’re also on the ground in neighbouring countries – helping refugees survive and support themselves, long into the future.
How has the situation in CAR changed over the last few years?
Since 2016, CAR had been gradually moving towards peace and stability, with refugees and internally displaced people starting to go back home. But now, insecurity is plaguing areas in the centre, north west, east and south east of the country – some not previously affected by violence.
Where are families fleeing to?
Families are crossing the border into neighbouring countries, like the Democratic Republic of Congo – where there are now over 200,000 refugees from CAR.
What’s the situation in the villages they’ve left behind?
Many villages in CAR lie deserted, with houses burnt, cattle stolen and fields of coffee, manioc and peanuts looted and vandalised by armed groups.
How do families support themselves far from home?
In the DRC – where most refugees stay near the rivers in the borderlands – men support themselves by fishing, while women work as land labourers for around 23 pence a day.
Where can I access the latest data and reports?
CAR Operations – for latest on UNHCR’s relief work to protect displaced people inside the Central African Republic.
Did you know many refugees from CAR escape in canoes, or walk for weeks with little food or water to sustain them?
This family fled to Chad in a desperate bid for safety.
They stayed in a camp close to the border, until UNHCR was able to register them and help them access a more permanent site in a nearby village and rebuild their lives.
We’re doing the same for thousands more vulnerable families from CAR – providing them with shelter and essential supplies. An out-of-camp-policy helps refugees integrate with the local community and find sustainable ways to support themselves in the long-term.