Current ethnic conflicts have resulted in the destruction of over 1.1 million people’s homes in the Central African Republic. Here are the causes and impacts of homelessness in the Central African Republic.
Causes of Homelessness
The causes of homelessness in the Central African Republic are poverty, a devastating Civil War and recent floods. In 2018, around 70% of the Central Africans lived in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day. Poverty makes it even more challenging to escape homelessness in a country full of conflict. Also, Over one million people are homeless in the Central African Republic as a result of their Civil War. Currently, more than 643,000 people are internally displaced in the Central African Republic while 500,000 people have become refugees in Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Cameroon. On top of that, recent 2019 floods have destroyed more than 10,000 homes. Of the 44,918 people affected 20,000 of those people were displaced from the capital city of Bangui. Homes and livelihoods were defenseless as major flooding occurred in over 16 cities.
Impacts of Homelessness
Homelessness has contributed to the fragility of the nation and child soldiers, and it has negatively affected certain religious groups as well. The Central African Republic is the 6th most fragile country in the world. A fragile nation is measured by the indicators of instability like homelessness, for example, in a country. The high numbers of refugees and displaced people without a home are examples of social indicators of the fragility of the Central African Republic. Political indicators include the amount of humanitarian aid needed and the violent conflicts civilians face.
Homelessness has also contributed to war resulting in child soldiers and the destruction of communities. The exploitation of homeless children occurred as 10,000 children were forced into joining army groups in the civil war. Additionally, the number of people who fall under displacement and homelessness is still on the rise. Expected attacks by armed groups force residents to find safety in other towns or in displacement camps with poor living conditions. Most recently, around 5,000 people became homeless from May 18 to May 20 of this year as a result of violence between army groups and government forces.
Muslims living in Bangui had to flee the city due to violence against them. Most of their empty homes were illegally sold and are now occupied. There is a complicated process when it comes to returning homes to owners since few people have title deeds; therefore, the number of cases that have been solved is only 18 out of 475. Muslims are afraid to return, and those who do return find other people living in their homes. The Norwegian Refugee Council in Bangui and local mayors are working to solve housing disputes and return stolen land to end homelessness.
The Future of the Central African Republic
The Central African Republic needs humanitarian aid more than ever. In 2018, there were 396 attacks against humanitarian workers. As fighting ensues, violence against humanitarian aid groups is causing them to leave areas that need their support the most. This places strains on the amount of help that Central Africans receive. Over 50% of the population needed humanitarian aid in 2019, but less than 30% of people received support.
The government of the Central African Republic has been successful in its creation and implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan, which provides more aid to ensure internal security. In 2019, donors raised 300.3 million dollars to improve the living conditions of citizens and prevent conflict. This Humanitarian Response Plan supported 1.1 million people, including those facing homelessness in the Central African Republic.
– Hannah Nelson
Photo: Wikimedia Commons