Integral Disaster Alert Issued for Central African Republic

Integral has raised a Disaster Alert for the growing humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic (CAR) – Integral Members met together on Wednesday 5 March 2014 to plan their response.

Food Distribution in CAR courtesy of Tearfund’s partner, Fateb.
Photo credit: Niek Stam, Tearfund

Integral has already been monitoring the worsening situation in CAR since December 2013, and has facilitated sharing of information amongst its Members with work in the region. Integral Member Tearfund (UK) sent a needs assessment team to Bangui in January 2014, and has since established a base for operations in the country.

Now that an Alert has been raised, the Integral Disaster Response Process will be followed, allowing all Integral Members to consider how they can come together to respond to this crisis. Five Members have committed to this Integral Response so far – Tearfund (UK) are active on the ground while SEL France, TEAR Netherlands, Tear Fund Switzerland and World Renew are providing or seeking funding for this response.  A number of other members are exploring how they can become involved – either through direct operations, by seconding staff, or by fundraising.

Thousands have been killed as the political crisis has worsened over the last year, and around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have been displaced, as 6,000 African and 2,000 French peacekeeping troops struggle to rein in the militias terrorising the population. The International community has declared CAR a Level 3 emergency: the highest level of crisis response.  On Sunday 2 March 2014 a UN official warned that a Central African food crisis was looming with only a fifth of the $500 million (€360 million) pledged by donors coming in so far. 60% of the 480,000 uprooted in the capital, Bangui, are children.

Janet Whalley, Tearfund UK’s Programme Officer for CAR, says, “We are making every effort to face into this complex political emergency as Tearfund through raising our voice so are advocating and committing time, energy, prayer, people and finances to build up trust, peace, livelihoods and communities within CAR together with the people of CAR. The Integral DR process has facilitated discussion between Integral Members and has enabled information from Tearfund to be shared more widely, giving access to both funds and people from across the alliance.”