How to Help People in Central African RepublicThe Central African Republic (CAR) is ranked 188 out of 188 countries in the 2016 United Nation’s Human Development Index. Its ranking is determined by markers of income inequality and life expectancy. Its rank speaks largely to the estimated 2.7 million citizens in need of immediate humanitarian assistance, its half a million citizens internally and externally displaced resulting from years of civil conflict and violence and the absence of basic infrastructure.

Bearing in mind CAR’s long road towards social, political and economic recovery, many ask the question: how to help people in Central African Republic? Three agencies worth considering are the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and International Rescue Committee (IRC).

  1. U.N. World Food Programme
    The WFP strives to strengthen communities within CAR with short-term and long-term approaches. In the short-term, the WFP distributes food for the internally displaced in shelter communities and local populations. In the long-term, the WFP has a quid pro quo approach in that the organization will supply food for the participation of local populations in rebuilding and repairing community infrastructure. It is estimated that through food, cash and vouchers the WFP has reached up to 305,000 people in the CAR, with plans to reach at least 700,000 by the end of this year. Specialized nutrition packages for pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children, as well as management of the U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), also fall under the scope of the WFP.
  2. United States Agency for International Aid
    Earlier in July it was announced that the World Food Programme received a $11 million donation from the USAID in assisting the growing hunger issue in Central African Republic. Reportedly, this aid will help bring food supplies to approximately 550,000 people through CAR. Importantly, the U.S. Fiscal Year 2017 published that in response to CAR a total of $57,580,923 would be made available.
  3. International Rescue Committee
    Since 2006, the IRC has been assisting in Central African Republic by providing emergency funds, rebuilding educational infrastructure for children and working to recover clean water sources for communities. Amongst many other forms of assistance, the IRC has outlined its priorities until 2020 to achieve its short-term and long-term goals in CAR. Currently, its primary goals are to achieve widespread health, safety, education, economic sustainability and helping the displaced regain their decision-making agency. Moreover, its gendered approach to its solutions sets the IRC apart from many agencies, as the IRC has a special focus on underscoring its dedication to gender equality in its relief programs.

These three standout organizations have made great efforts to mitigate the humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic. In asking how to help people in Central African Republic, civil society members can volunteer their time, donate money or help connect businesses that are willing to help with these international agencies. Undoubtedly, pulling CAR out of its long plight is no easy feat, one that requires the attention of the public and private sector. Yet, with these agencies and the CAR’s problems gaining international traction, there shows to be steady progression being made. How to help people in Central African Republic largely relies on a steady influx of international aid and successful mechanism of peacebuilding.

Sydney Nam