CAR Blog I – Forming partnerships for peace

I arrived in CAR five days ago, on 26th April. Already one of the world’s poorest countries, CAR has been ripped apart by devastating violence.

Hundreds of people have died and one million have fled their homes as a result of the conflict. The most pressing needs of Central Africans include food, water, shelter and sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Vulnerable communities – particularly those trapped in enclaves in the south and south west – require particular support.

I met with representatives from Caritas, a humanitarian organisation that is delivering much-needed interventions in food security, shelter, health and livelihoods.

Longer-term, they need well-supported and well-funded peace-building initiatives, including working with communities to promote conflict resolution. We heard about peace-building already underway from Catholic Relief Services. Focusing on de-escalating violence, their programmes include social cohesion and training community leaders of all faiths.

At Islamic Relief, we are determined to do what we can not only to provide life-saving humanitarian aid to those who need it most – we also believe we have a role in contributing to long-term solutions to the widespread poverty and suffering here. This was top of the agenda during our meeting with the Inter-Faith delegation in Bangui.

Islamic Relief is supporting child-friendly spaces in Bangui, the Central African capital, providing support to thousands of children forced to flee their homes due to violence. Many have witnessed loved ones being killed and are traumatised, in need of psychosocial support and a sense of normality, provided by the spaces. We are also providing emergency relief to thousands of refugees who have fled CAR to neighbouring Chad, providing vital food packs as well as sleeping mats, mosquito nets and soap. Please donate to our CAR Crisis Appeal to help us reach families in need.

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