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Instability is still the case in the Central African Republic (CAR) even though it has become calmer since the coup March 24, 2013. Danish Refugee Council has reopened most of its offices and activities are up and running.
There are still problems with water and sanitation and a lack of food. The prices on food have increased and the agriculture season is threatened since people have got their tools and seed corns stolen. DRC has been present in CAR since 2007 and returned quickly after the coup to mitigate the largest problems – in a country which for many years has been affected by conflicts and coups.
”We’ve been back since the middle of April with an almost complete team. First and foremost we have analyzed and evaluated the situation. Additionally we have reopened most of our field offices,” says Line Brylle, head of desk, Central African Republic in DRC.
The Ouham province in the North Western part of the country has been especially hit by the conflict. Battles were going on already in December, 2012 and the lawlessness in the area has made life very insecure for the population. Still, DRC has access to this part of the country and has recently reopened the office which was looted during the violence.
”A lot of people have fled their villages – moving to another village or simply went out on their fields. We are going to work on improving people’s livelihood by distributing food, securing access to clean drinking water and sanitation,” Line Brylle says.
In the capital Bangui, DRC has established a protection hotline which the population can use if they experience abuses. With this they can get help and at the same time it gives an overview of attacks, so the effort with improving the human rights situation can be focused.
Education has also been an important part of the effort. Most of the schools in the country have been closed for months, after a lot of schools were destroyed or used as residence for the rebels. There is currently no education authority in large parts of the country. The children risk not getting important education – and thus DRC has made a great effort in getting this up and running.
”We are rehabilitating schools and assisting the school authorities. Additionally we are training parents to act as teachers so the children as fast as possible can get the education which is essential for their future,” Line Brylle.
DRC entered CAR in 2007 due to a strong need for humanitarian assistance and upon request from UN. DRC’s effort started out in Paoua in the North Western Ouham-Pendé district and has since expanded to Ouham and Bamingui-Bangoran in the Northern part of CAR.