Chaos and fear have ruled the Central African Republic for months. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced from their homes for fear of being attacked. And they’re living in crowded and unsanitary conditions in makeshift camps, exposed to the elements. Many have seen family members, friends and neighbors killed.
The conflict began in December 2012. In March 2013, rebels ousted the president, but violent attacks escalated in Bangui, the capital, in early December 2013. The violence has been quelled with the arrival of French and African Union troops, but the resulting humanitarian crisis is far from over.
Hundreds of thousands are in critical need of food, water, shelter and medical care. The fighting has taken on unfortunate religious dimensions, dividing Christians and Muslims who have lived together peacefully in the past.
Catholic Relief Services is working with its partners in Central African Republic on an emergency response that will provide food and other critical assistance to thousands of displaced families. CRS is also working with religious leaders and inter-religious youth groups to promote messages of peace and reconciliation.