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Central African Republic

Participating in a joint humanitarian response to deliver much-needed protection to children and their families


The Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered from conflict and instability throughout its short history. CAR is surrounded on all sides by conflict-affected countries - and the wars and unrest in neighbouring DR Congo, Sudan and Chad have all brought violence and refugees across its borders.

The country was plunged into turmoil at the end of 2012 following a coup by the Seleka rebel group. Violence between Seleka forces and armed groups loyal to the ousted President continued until a political solution to the conflict was negotiated in mid-2015. Free elections were promised but repeatedly delayed and civil unrest continued. President Faustin-Archange Touadera was finally elected in February 2016 yet the country's future remains uncertain.

This violence and instability has had a significant effect on children growing up in CAR. Roughly half the country’s population - some 2.3 million people - is in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Many children have been separated from their families as a result of the ongoing conflict.

CAR has one of the world’s lowest school attendance rates and its children are particularly vulnerable to recruitment by armed groups. As many as 10,000 children have been recruited or forcibly enlisted by armed groups on both sides of the conflict since 2013.

What We Do

War Child is one of nine Dutch NGOs participating in the international Central African Republic Joint Humanitarian Response. The initiative - coordinated by the Dutch Relief Alliance - sees the organisations work together to deliver emergency humanitarian assistance inside CAR.

The various programmes of the alliance address urgent nutrition, sanitation and protection needs. War Child is active in the Ouham prefecture in the north-west of CAR where we work to strengthen child protection mechanisms, with a particular focus on providing training, education and rights awareness to former child soldiers. We also provide much-needed psychosocial support to all vulnerable children through our network of Safe Spaces.