CAR | 2023 | CBPF
Central African Republic, Baga displacement site. Reine will soon be ten years old. Baga displacement site, where she lives, will soon be ten years old as well.
Conditions here remain very difficult. While Reine has access to essential health care and attends school, her parents lack opportunities to make a livelihood. And Reine has never lived in a permanent shelter, or knew the village life her parents grew up in.
At the height of the conflict in CAR, back in 2014, Reine’s parents fled to Baga, seeking safety. Ten years later, 489,000 people in CAR remain internally displaced – and 500 of them live in Baga displacement site. Some people want help to return home, while others fear going back.
Reine is in fourth grade and dreams of a career in health care. As an older sister, she worries about the health and wellbeing of her younger siblings. “I’m going to look after them. That’s why I’d like to work in a hospital.”
Emmanuel Mokpême has a son Reine’s age. He worries for his son’s mental health. “I find him lonely, sometimes aggressive. I think this could be linked to the environment in which he’s growing up. It’s the lack of landmarks, games, role models, of normal day to day life,” he explains.
A difficult decision
For now, Reine and Edouard’s parents have decided to stay put. Like many, they feel they have nothing left at their places of origin. “We no longer have a house. Going back is no longer possible,” explains Sabé Isaï, who lives at Baga site.
While some families decided to return home, they lack the resources to resettle. Their houses have been looted or simply become dilapidated.
Support for voluntary returns is a critical goal of the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan.
The CAR Humanitarian Fund has disbursed over $2.6 million to support these efforts, working with UN agencies, local, and international organizations. Since the year began, some 4,600 households received help re-establishing their lives in their places of origin, including through shelter, improved and rehabilitated water and sanitation, and essential household items. Income generation activities have also been supported.
Adapted from original stories from the CAR Humanitarian Fund.