Displaced families take refuge in the Catholic mission in Bossangoa. Over 40,000 people are gathered here after fleeing the ongoing violence. CRS is working with its partner Caritas Central African Republic to provide food, medicine and protection to people forced from their homes. Photo courtesy of Valérie Kaye/Caritas Internationalis
In March of 2013, Catholic Relief Services staff were forced to evacuate our office in the Central African Republic, also called CAR. Shortly thereafter, CRS returned. We will not give up on the innocents of CAR. Even so, the situation for the most vulnerable grows increasingly grim.
Known and rumored atrocities are on the rise. The most dire fear is that the nation nears the brink of genocide on par with Rwanda of 20 years ago.
Like Rwanda in 1994, events in CAR receive little media attention. While reports of rape and torture find their way into some news outlets, almost nothing is said about the plight of tens of thousands innocent familes who have been reduced to abject poverty.
In order to respond to this emergency and help avert incalculable loss of life, CRS continues to seek out and bring aid to CAR’s most vulnerable. Along with faith and prayers, donor support and insight are our best hope at this critical juncture. You are unlikely to see or hear reports that will prompt you to support CAR as you so generously do during large-scale, well publicized emergencies.
CRS continues food distributions. In Bossangoa in western CAR, the Church is sheltering tens of thousands of Christians internally displaced by violence. We predict shelter and basic household items will be needed as the displaced return to their home locales. Others will need shelters because their homes were burned or damaged by fighting.
CAR needs your prayers. And CRS needs your perseverance and generous support to serve the innocents in the Central African Republic.