International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Central African Republic

IRC staff members pour emergency supplies of rice into a bag for displaced man
Photo: Peter Biro/The IRC

For decades, the Central African Republic has experienced conflict. New waves of sectarian violence have displaced at least a million people and stunted the nation’s growth. The International Rescue Committee is providing emergency assistance while also helping the people of CAR to rebuild their lives in safe, healthy and productive communities — laying a foundation for the country’s future.

Read the IRC's report on CAR: "Too soon to turn away" (July 2015)

The Latest

How We Help


    • The IRC has remained in CAR during the current crisis, providing lifesaving services to tens of thousands of people in communities affected by violence

    • The IRC educates community leaders on national law and human rights.


    • The IRC works with farmers and entrepreneurs to improve job prospects, grow businesses and restore local economies.


    • The IRC distributes food and offers economic opportunities to displaced and vulnerable community members like women and young adults.


    • The IRC provides health care and emotional support to survivors of sexual violence.


    • We support and build schools that teach children to read and write and provide them with a safe place to play.


    • We build latrines, dig wells and repair water sources to improve hygiene and access to safe water.


December 31, 2015 | Blog
As the refugee crisis in Europe continues to dominate news headlines, there are many countries left to struggle with conflict and natural disaster largely out of sight—and largely on their own. Here are 20 humanitarian crises you may have missed that drove mass displacement this year.

Forgotten emergency

The IRC responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Hear from IRC aid workers, partners and others who are responding to and reporting on the crisis in the Central African Republic and other "forgotten" emergencies:

Crisis response in depth

Sectarian violence has devastated the Central African Republic, and over half of the country’s population is now in need. About ten percent of CAR’s population, most of them Muslim, have fled the country to escape persecution. The situation of the country’s 560,000 displaced people is desperate: camps are makeshift, overcrowded and dangerous. Sanitation is poor and toilets insufficient, with flooding threatening to spread disease. A total of 1.7 million Central Africans are food insecure: they lack seeds and equipment for farming and cannot safely tend to their fields. These urgent humanitarian needs will only intensify as aid agencies struggle to access vulnerable populations.

The IRC has remained in CAR during the current crisis to provide lifesaving services. In Bocaranga in the northeast, the IRC is providing emergency support to 15,000 people and in the northern town of Kaga Bandoro the IRC is providing seed, shelter, cash for work and women’s protection to thousands of displaced people. The IRC is also constructing and rehabilitating schools and health clinics near Kaga Bandoro.  

In Bangui, the IRC has provided emergency food support to more than 10,000 people and distributed water containers and soap to 40,000 people. In addition to opening five women’s centers the IRC has responded to the needs of vulnerable women and girls in the capital by distributing 7,000 emergency kits of clothing, sanitary items, soap and security items such as torches as well as deploying a team of social workers to provide support and information on services.

More than 346,000 people have fled to neighboring countries, including over 80,000 into Cameroon and over 100,000 into Chad, where the majority of the refugees are women and children of Chadian origin who have not had any connection with the country for generations. IRC medical staff is providing up to 250 consultations a day to refugees at three displacement sites in the south of Chad. The IRC has also treated over 500 children under the age of 5 for severe malnutrition.