Thousands of people in the Central African Republic have been displaced by ongoing conflict and have no access to drinking water. Thanks to $350,000 from the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund, Oxfam-Québec will be able to help save lives.
More than 10,000 people forced to flee their homes in Bria as violent fighting erupted at the end of November 2016 have found safety in an improvised camp inside the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). An estimated 1,200 households have found shelter with host families in neighbourhoods cut off from the rest of the city.
“The crisis in the Central African Republic has received very little media attention internationally. It’s vital that we provide support to residents of Bria who lost everything on the night of November 21. The Fula people were particularly targeted during the fighting. Some 10,000 people have been displaced in three areas. Conditions are deplorable and humanitarian assistance is essential,” said Jean-Baptiste Lacombe, humanitarian programs officer with Oxfam-Québec.
The influx of displaced people is adding pressure to host neighbourhoods and has required the construction of a new camp near the MINUSCA base to accommodate them.
With these funds, Oxfam is well placed to provide safe drinking water in the new camp and in the host neighbourhoods, either by trucking water or rehabilitating water access points and installing hand pumps. Oxfam is also able to continue its work on installing sanitation systems, such as latrines and showers. The distribution of hygiene kits, will mean people in the camp and host neighbourhoods will have an easier time transporting and storing water, washing their hands and accessing feminine hygiene products.
Oxfam has been working in CAR since 2014 and is the only water and sanitation and general protection agency in the affected area. Oxfam is part of the coordinating body in place dealing with the situation in Bria, and its response to the crisis was specifically requested by the international community.
The Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund is a joint mechanism financed by Global Affairs Canada, the Humanitarian Coalition and its member agencies.