Humanitarian Health Action

Central African Republic

Until 2005, the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) was one of the world’s most neglected emergencies. International attention began to rise in 2006 when the security situation severely deteriorated in the North. Maternal and childhood health is still characterized by poor indicators: under-five mortality is 220 per 1000, while registered maternal mortality is one of the highest in Africa: 1355 deaths per 100 000 live births. The HIV/AIDS prevalence among pregnant women is estimated at about 15%. The immunization coverage remain below 50%. The displacement of 150 000 people has aggravated the situation.

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is also a major concern; there is a lack of appropriate means to support 2000 women identified as victims.

As a consequence of the warfare most health structures in the North were destroyed, and medicines and material looted. The majority of the public health staff left the area, or refused to be deployed there. In order to avoid endangering all current attempts for socio-economic recovery and democratic consolidation, the pressing humanitarian needs in the North have to be urgently addressed through prioritizing the improvement of human security, the assistance to and protection of internally displaced persons, the enhancement of local capacities and the improvement of coordination.