2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) still bears the marks of years of political and military crises. Human rights violations remain a source of concern, and the country suffers from rampant poverty, which is most extreme in areas affected by conflict. High unemployment persists. In addition, poor infrastructure poses logistical and administrative challenges to humanitarian operations.
Peace agreements with some rebel groups and the holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2011 raised hopes of peace and stability in the country. However, the lack of security continues to force displacement. As of mid-2012, approximately 65,500 people were internally displaced and more than 150,000 Central Africans had found refuge in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon.
Despite this precarious situation, the attitude of the State towards asylum has been positive. The CAR hosts some 18,000 refugees, including some 14,000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who live alongside local populations peacefully, both in rural areas and the capital, Bangui.
The majority of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the CAR will continue to rely on UNHCR for protection and assistance given the high levels of poverty and unemployment and the weak judicial system.
IDPs, most of whom have not been able to return to their destroyed villages, will need shelter, water, health and education assistance. Combating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) will remain a priority as harmful traditional practices continue to endanger women and girls. Many displaced people lack access to justice, legal advice and non-violent mechanisms for conflict resolution. In addition, many IDPs are at risk of statelessness as they do not possess civil-status or identity documents.
Urban refugees opting for local integration will continue to need support to change their legal status, become naturalized and obtain work permits. Repatriation and resettlement opportunities will be used as additional durable solutions when available.
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for Central African Republic|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|Others of concern||Various||25,000||25,000||80,000||80,000|
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Fair protection processes and documentation
Birth registration, profiling and individual documentation based on registration are secured.
The percentage of people at risk of statelessness who receive individual documentation rises from 20 per cent to 50 per cent.
Security from violence and exploitation
Protection risks faced by people of concern, in particular discrimination, sexual and gender-based violence and child recruitment, are reduced.
All known IDP survivors of sexual violence receive support.
Basic needs and essential services
International standards in relation to shelter, domestic energy, water, sanitation and hygiene are met.
All households live in adequate dwellings.
Around 20 litres of potable water are available per person per day in the camps.
Malnutrition and anaemia are reduced, major causes of morbidity and mortality are addressed, and adequate reproductive health care is provided.
All people living with HIV and AIDS receive treatment.
Some 70 per cent of people of concern have access to primary health care services.
The potential for voluntary return is realized.
Around 50 per cent of IDPs returning voluntarily to their places of origin are provided with return assistance.
The potential for integration is realized.
Some 10 per cent of urban refugees are integrated locally.
Strategy and activities in 2013
UNHCR will capitalize on the State's generosity to promote the legal and socio-economic local integration of certain groups among urban refugees, in particular those from Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Sudan. The issuance of work permits and the strengthening of refugees' self-reliance will be emphasized to uphold local-integration efforts. UNHCR will ensure that people of concern are treated fairly, efficiently and without discrimination when seeking protection, and that they receive adequate documentation. The capacities of the Sous-commission d'éligibilité and the Commission de recours will be reinforced in order to ensure that the backlog of asylum applications will be fully processed by the end of 2013. Refugees willing to return to their country of origin will be assisted to do so.
UNHCR, in close collaboration with its Government counterpart, the Commission nationale pour les réfugiés (CNR), and its implementing partners will provide protection and durable solutions to all rural refugee communities. Voluntary return will be pursued for some 6,000 Congolese refugees from the DRC's Equateur Province who are currently staying in Batalimo camp, and for whom local integration opportunities are limited. For those who do not opt for voluntary return, UNHCR will provide protection and multi-sectoral assistance, with an emphasis on self-reliance.
Due to ongoing insecurity in South Darfur, as of mid-2012, there were no prospects for the return of Sudanese refugees in 2013. The results of the 2012 review by UNHCR, its governmental counterparts and others stakeholders, of the durable-solutions strategy are awaited. In the meantime, resettlement will continue to be used as a protection tool. In 2013, as the cluster-lead agency for protection and shelter, UNHCR will strengthen its protection and advocacy activities for some 65,000 IDPs through increased protection by presence, the provision of legal services, promotion of community-based solutions and targeted quick-impact projects that improve livelihoods and promote social cohesion between IDPs and host communities.
Through its documentation project, UNHCR will help the national authorities to issue civil-status and national identity documents to IDPs, targeted nomadic communities (such as the Fulbe ethnic group), refugees returning spontaneously from Cameroon and Chad , and others at risk of statelessness in areas of displacement and return.
UNHCR will also give priority to preventing and responding to SGBV, with a particular focus on witchcraft accusations, and ensure the reintegration of survivors in dignity and safety.
The strategy for returnees in 2013 focuses on the reception of some 11,000 former Central African refugees from Cameroon and Chad, who will be assisted in their reintegration and be given guarantees of physical and legal safety. The strategy also focuses on strengthening livelihoods among returning communities and enhancing the reception capacities of host communities in the main areas of return.
The fragile socio-economic environment and volatile security situation jeopardize the positive results achieved over the years. They hinder the provision of assistance to IDPs and returning refugees and compromise prospects for the local integration of Congolese refugees.
There is little investment to rehabilitate basic social services such as education and health care. The limited capacity of the national authorities to enforce the law and ensure the access of the displaced and host populations to basic rights in conflict-affected areas are other important challenges.
Organization and implementation
With little change foreseen in the conditions affecting displaced people and returnees in the CAR in 2013, UNHCR will continue to place considerable emphasis on monitoring protection and providing assistance to them, in addition to giving priority to programmes to combat SGBV, as well as HIV and AIDS.
As head of the protection and shelter clusters, UNHCR will work with UN and other partners to address the needs of IDPs. It will cooperate with UNICEF on issues related to women and children and with UNDP in the area of rule of law. The UN peacebuilding office in the CAR, BINUCA, will lead the human rights programme.
UNHCR's budget for the CAR has shown significant increases since 2007, in particular in 2010, when additional resources were required to address the influx of refugees from the DRC as well as the growth in the number of IDPs in the country. In 2012, the budget continued to increase to reach USD 27.8 million. UNHCR's financial requirements in the CAR will decrease by 15 per cent in 2013, amounting to USD 23.6 million. It will allow the Office to respond to the protection and assistance needs of people of concern, particularly in view of the expected repatriation of Central African refugees living in Chad and Cameroon and of the planned facilitation of returns of Congolese refugees to DRC.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update