Central African Republic


Operation: Opération: Central African Republic



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Key Figures

2017 year-end results
33,110 IDPs returned to their areas of origin
1,490 Sudanese refugees repatriated voluntarily
52 out of 73 IDP sites (71%)  were introduced with coordination mechanisms and tools 
15 awareness campaigns on prevention of SGBV were conducted
2018 planning figures
53,000 households will receive core relief items
42,900 internally displaced households will receive long-term shelter
32,000 tool kits and materials will be provided for shelter maintenance
10,100 targeted refugee households will receive transitional  shelter
3,500 people of concern with specific needs will receive support
900 registered refugee and asylum-seeker children targeted to be enrolled in primary education, with a focus on scholarships for asylum-seeker girls
6 community-based committees/groups working on SGBV prevention and response

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2017 866,948
2016 458,607
2015 503,964


[["Refugees",10036],["Asylum-seekers",575],["IDPs",688700],["Returned IDPs",89019],["Returned refugees",78618]]
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Central African Republic

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2017 {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"budget":[26.61966467,72.99517142,51.41588869,57.558703669,53.08443808,41.26942083],"expenditure":[11.6062205,30.83826436,28.05206276,27.75001507,33.13216952,null]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[9.90859819,22.2141765,11.20435682,13.828749925,24.29164077,9.63998164],"p2":[5.51967978,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[5.07016298,null,null,18.01743734,14.76256501,17.0217776],"p4":[6.12122372,50.78099492,40.21153187,25.712516404,14.0302323,14.60766159]} {"categories":[2013,2014,2015,2016,2017,2018],"p1":[6.64581075,10.9546183,9.49333057,10.97116821,14.64808906,null],"p2":[0.0895701,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,7.6601341,7.62007999,null],"p4":[4.87083965,19.88364606,18.55873219,9.11871276,10.86400047,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Operational context

The year 2017 was characterized by persistence of insecurity in some prefectures that caused new displacements and an increase in humanitarian needs in the Central African Republic (CAR). Fighting between armed groups and intercommunal tensions caused displacements in the prefectures of Haute-Kotto, Mbomou, Haut-Mbomou and Ouham Pendé and Ouaka. There were more than 680,000 IDPs by year’s end. Of these, some 180,000 were newly displaced in 2017. Nearly one in four families were forced from their homes.
Nevertheless, the CAR recorded significant changes in its political, security and socio-economic environments. The involvement of the representatives of certain armed groups in the Government improved to some extent the political environment and security climate. The redeployment of Préfets and sous-Préfets in 16 prefectures marked an important step towards restoration of authority of the State, essential to improve the protection of human rights.
A pilot project of disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR) was implemented to reintegrate former combatants in civil life. Additionally, the strengthening of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Force, training and redeployment of Central African Armed Forces alongside MINUSCA to restore security was a major step towards pacification. However, tensions between different religious communities remained in some parts of the country, resulting in fragile cohabitation.

Population trends

In 2017, the total population of concern to UNHCR in the CAR stood at 747,000, consisting of some 10,000 refugees, close to 580 asylum-seekers, more than 48,000 returnees and over 680,000 IDPs. The IDP population increased by 67 per cent in 2017. In addition, more than 47,000 refugees returned spontaneously from Cameroon, Chad and the DRC. Some 300 of the returnees were assisted by UNHCR. In addition, close to 1,500 Sudanese refugees repatriated from Pladama Ouaka Camp in CAR to South Darfur camp in Sudan.

Key achievements

  • Verification of refugee population residing in CAR and issuance of biometric identity cards allowing full update of registration database.
  • Major achievement was the voluntary repatriation of some 1,490 Sudanese refugees from Pladama Ouaka Camp to South Darfur.
  • Coordination mechanisms facilitated assistance and strengthened protection to over 119,000 people on sites.
  • Emergency shelter was provided to more than 81,000 IDPs in new sites, against an initial target of 60,000.
  • Return of IDPs, supported by investments in social cohesion and co-habitation, led to the closure of 32 IDP sites in Bangui.

Unmet needs

  • Due to increase in number of IDPs and lack of resources, the household item and shelter needs of all IDPs could not be met.
  • The planned voluntary and facilitated repatriation of CAR refugees could not be carried out due to deteriorating security.
  • The reintegration of returnees in terms of access to dignified living conditions relating to shelters and domestic items was insufficient.
  • The one in CAR was among the most poorly funded emergencies in the world in 2017, and this shortage of resources limited UNHCR’s ability to provide protection, food and shelter to people of concern.

Working environment

The ongoing crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) generated up to one million internally displaced people (IDPs) at the height of the crisis in 2014 and some 472,000 refugees in neighbouring countries Cameroon, Chad, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In December 2013, the situation was declared a system-wide, level 3 emergency. With a gradual improvement in the security situation and the deployment of UN forces which allowed the presidential and legislative elections to take place, the number of internally displaced people reduced to about 400,000 by the beginning of 2016. The country equally hosts about 12,000 refugees mainly from Sudan, South Sudan and DRC.  

Despite the volatile security situation in CAR with outbreaks of violence occurring on a regular basis causing new displacements, returns of IDPs, and to a lesser extent, refugees, have been observed. Returns are expected to continue in stabilized areas within CAR and while UNHCR expects to see an overall reduction of insecurity in 2017, the situation will likely remain fragile with localized conflict continuing in certain areas of the country. New displacement is expected within CAR and to asylum countries linked to possible insecurity caused by the opposition of armed groups to re-establishment of state authority and deployment of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) in certain parts of the country. The main factors preventing return will be insecurity, lack of social cohesion and conflict related to occupied property.

Key priorities

In 2017, UNHCR’s operation will focus on:

•    Elaborating a tripartite agreement to serve as a normative framework for the return of CAR refugees;
•    Return and reintegration support to returning IDPs and refugees including support to local communities;
•    Protection monitoring in areas of return and displacement sites with particular focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV);
•    Support to community-based protection and support mechanisms in areas of return;
•    Promotion of peaceful coexistence and ensure adherence to the “do-no harm” principle.