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2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Central African Republic

| Overview |

Working environment

UNHCR 2015 Central African Republic country operations map

  • A history of military coups and rebellion in the Central African Republic (CAR) has caused a sustained economic crisis in the country and impacted negatively on the national institutions' capacity to provide services and protection to the population. The current humanitarian emergency follows two years of political disputes, which have led to instability and widespread violence perpetrated by two opposing groups.

  • Since December 2013, approximately 25 per cent of CAR's population has been internally displaced by the conflict, which has divided the country along ethno-religious lines. At the peak of the unrest in early 2014, more than 930,000 people were displaced. More than half of the population is still in need of humanitarian assistance. Simultaneously, this conflict has had a regional impact, more than 190,000 Central African refugees having fled to Cameroon, Chad, the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since December 2013.

  • In August 2014, approximately 508,000 people remained internally displaced in CAR - a decrease on previous figures - and the refugee influx in neighbouring countries had stabilized. However, daily violent clashes continue to displace thousands already living in dire conditions. As opposing factions control vast areas and armed groups splinter, the situation is increasingly complex and unpredictable.

  • The presence of armed groups affects and limits humanitarian interventions. The looting of warehouses and aid convoys, threats to aid workers, and general insecurity, prevent humanitarian actors from fully deploying to rural areas and can lead to a temporary suspension of their activities.

  • The arrival of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in September 2014 to replace the African Union force will have a stabilizing impact but its full deployment is expected to take time. Eventually, it is expected to pave the way for the Government to strengthen its institutions, leading to the restoration of basic services.

  • While the ongoing crisis has had an impact on the mainly Congolese (DRC) and Sudanese refugees, with some 6,000 Congolese refugees having opted to return to their country, the government position on asylum remains constructive.

People of concern

In 2015, UNHCR plans to support the following groups of people in the CAR: the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been displaced in the country since 2013 because of inter-communal fighting; refugees and asylum-seekers of various nationalities, who are hosted in Bangui; refugees from the DRC, who escaped tribal violence in the north-western part of the DRC and are hosted in Zemio camp; and refugees from Sudan, who fled violence in the Darfur region and are now accommodated in the Pladama Ouake camp, near Bambari.

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Central African Republic
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 813,380 492,180 538,370 337,830
Refugees Dem. Rep. of the Congo 4,740 4,740 5,320 5,320
Sudan 5,560 5,560 5,730 5,730
Various 720 720 1,150 1,150
Asylum-seekers Chad 690 150 350 60
Dem. Rep. of the Congo 1,160 910 580 460
Various 510 90 260 130
Returnee arrivals during year (ex-refugees) Central African Rep. - - 25,000 25,000
Internally displaced Central African Rep. 500,000 300,000 300,000 180,000
Returnee arrivals during year (ex-IDPs) Central African Rep. 300,000 180,000 200,000 120,000

| Response |

Needs and strategies

UNHCR, in close collaboration with government counterparts and partners, will continue to provide multi-sectoral assistance and durable solutions to refugees in rural and urban areas in 2015. The possible impact of the ongoing crisis on the protection and assistance needs of refugees will be closely monitored. Advocacy for a national status determination system and discussion on possible local integration opportunities will be taken up with the authorities when political stability has been attained and relevant administrative structures are fully functional.

The main challenge in 2015 will remain responding to the protection and assistance needs of the displaced population. The Office will continue its engagement with the displaced and co-lead the protection, shelter/NFI, as well as camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) clusters.

While it is expected that the arrival and deployment of international peacekeepers will bring a certain level of stability to the country and encourage the IDPs to return to their areas of origin, continued tension and instability will present a challenge to the national authorities, as they seek to fully control the country and decentralize assistance services. UNHCR and partners will play an important role in monitoring the protection situation of displaced and returnees. In the most affected areas, shelter support and domestic items will be provided to the vulnerable.

| Implementation |

Coordination

UNHCR will work in close collaboration with the Central African authorities and maintain its strategic partnership with the Commission Nationale pour les Réfugiés, to protect both refugees and IDPs. The provision of multi-sectoral assistance by national and international partners will be coordinated closely with all relevant stakeholders.

Under the overall leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator, UNHCR assumes leadership of: the CCCM cluster, with IOM as co-facilitator; the shelter/NFI cluster, with Agence d'Aide à la Coopération technique et au Développement (ACTED) as co-facilitator; and the protection cluster, co-facilitated by the Danish Refugee Council. UNHCR will equally ensure close coordination with relevant MINUSCA counterparts, particularly the protection of civilians unit.

2015 UNHCR partners in Central African Republic
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Commission Nationale pour les Réfugiés
NGOs: ACTED, Catholic Relief Services, Centre de Support en Santé Internationale, COOPI - Cooperazione Internationale, Croix-Rouge centrafricaine, Danish Refugee Council, International Emergency and Development Aid, International Medical Corps, Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council, Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, Search for Common Ground
Others: UNV
Operational partners
UNAIDS, WFP

| Financial information |

Financial requirements for UNHCR's CAR operation have increased significantly since 2011, due to the influx of Congolese refugees and the significant growth of the internally displaced population since the end of 2013.

The 2010 budget of USD 18.9 million gradually increased to reach USD 26.6 million in 2013. The recent conflict and response to the needs of those internally displaced saw an increase in the initial ExCom-approved budget for 2014: the requirements reached USD 73 million by June 2014. The 2015 financial requirements have been set at 51.4 million, but may require revision during the course of the year.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update

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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Central African Republic [1]
Refugees [2] 14,322
Asylum Seekers [3] 2,636
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 894,421
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 911,380
Originating from Central African Republic [1]
Refugees [2] 252,865
Asylum Seekers [3] 7,475
Returned Refugees [4] 1
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 894,421
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 0
Total Population of Concern 1,154,762
Government Contributions to UNHCR
Contributions since 2000
YearUSD
2014 0
2013 0
2012 0
2011 0
2010 0
2009 0
2008 0
2007 0
2006 4,017
2005 0
2004 0
2003 0
2002 0
2001 0
2000 0

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Crisis in the Central African Republic

Little has been reported about the humanitarian crisis in the northern part of the Central African Republic (CAR), where at least 295,000 people have been forced out of their homes since mid-2005. An estimated 197,000 are internally displaced, while 98,000 have fled to Chad, Cameroon or Sudan. They are the victims of fighting between rebel groups and government forces.

Many of the internally displaced live in the bush close to their villages. They build shelters from hay, grow vegetables and even start bush schools for their children. But access to clean water and health care remains a huge problem. Many children suffer from diarrhoea and malaria but their parents are too scared to take them to hospitals or clinics for treatment.

Cattle herders in northern CAR are menaced by the zaraguina, bandits who kidnap children for ransom. The villagers must sell off their livestock to pay.

Posted on 21 February 2008

Crisis in the Central African Republic

Central African Republic: Crossing the Oubangui to Home and Safety

The escalating violence in Central African Republic (CAR) has caught everyone in its web, including refugees from countries such as Chad, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). For the Congolese living in places like the CAR capital, Bangui, or the town of Batalimo, home was just a short trip away across the Oubangui River. UNHCR earlier this year agreed to help those who wished to repatriate due to fear for their safety. The refugee agency has since mid-January facilitated the return home of hundreds of these refugees. The following photographs, taken earlier this month by UNHCR staff members Dalia Al Achi and Hugo Reichenberger, depict the repatriation of a group of 364 Congolese. The refugees portrayed were heading to the riverside town of Zongo in Democratic Republic of the Congo's Equateur province, where they spent a night in a transit centre before continuing to their hometowns. They were relieved to be leaving, and some were in poor health. The decision to return to the country they had fled during the years of civil war from 1996-2003 was not easy. Some 6,000 of the 17,000 Congolese refugees in Central African Republic have registered with UNHCR to go home.

Central African Republic: Crossing the Oubangui to Home and Safety

2014: CAR refugees attacked as they flee to Cameroon

Each week 10,000 Muslims cross into eastern Cameroon to escape the violence consuming the Central African Republic (CAR). Many new arrivals report that they have been repeatedly attacked as they fled. The anti-Balaka militiamen have blocked main roads to Cameroon, forcing people to find alternate routes through the bush. Many are walking two to three months to reach Cameroon, arriving malnourished and bearing wounds from machetes and gunshots.

UNHCR and its partners have established additional mobile clinics at entry points to provide emergency care as refugees arrive. The UN refugee agency is also supporting public health centres that have been overwhelmed by the number of refugees and their condition.

Meanwhile, UNHCR has relocated some 20,000 refugees who had been living in the open in the Garoua Bouai and Kenzou border areas, bringing them to new sites at Lolo, Mborguene, Gado and Borgop in the East and Adamwa regions.

Since the beginning of the year, Cameroon has received nearly 70,000 refugees from CAR, adding to the 92,000 who fled in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits in the north of their country.

UNHCR staff members Paul Spiegel and Michele Poletto recently travelled to eastern Cameroon and have the following photos to share from their iPhone and camera.

2014: CAR refugees attacked as they flee to Cameroon

Central African Republic: Torn Apart by Violence

Sectarian violence has been tearing the troubled Central African Republic apart over the past month, with an estimated 800,000 people forcibly displaced since the start of December. This includes some 400,000 in Bangui, the capital, and tens of thousands more in the beleaguered town of Bossangoa to the north-west. In the fighting between the former Seleka rebel group and the Anti-Balaka movement, civilians have become the victims in a country where religions had long existed side-by-side in harmony. The majority of those fleeing seek shelter with relatives, friends or in churches and mosques.

In Bangui, an estimated 100,000 people are seeking shelter at the airport, while many others are in churches in the city. In Bossangoa, tens of thousands have gathered at the residence of the archbishop, while many Muslims have sought safety in a mosque or the Ecole Liberty. With Christians and Muslim civilians both fearing attacks if they return home, there are huge challenges to supply them with shelter, drinking water, latrines, food and health care. UNHCR has responded by supplying tents and non-food items to the internally displaced at the airport and churches in the capital. Sam Phelps recently visited Bangui and Bossangoa to photograph the lives of the desperate displaced.

Central African Republic: Torn Apart by Violence

A Central African Refugee's Reunion With Her Sons Brings Joy and Sorrow

The violence and conflict in the Central African Republic has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes since mid-December. Many have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, including 80,000 in Cameroon. During the trauma and confusion of flight, families often become separated. They face many dangers on the way to safety, and their journey can take many weeks. Ramatou, a 45-year-old mother of 11 children, was separated from three of her sons and her husband when militiamen attacked her village in January. She ran in one direction with eight children and eventually made it to Cameroon with the help of African Union peace-keepers. Her husband and three sons ran in a different direction and endured many ordeals in the bush, becoming separated again. Earlier this month, Ramatou was reunited in Cameroon's Mbile Refugee Camp with the two youngest boys. She was overjoyed, but dismayed that they were on their own. She still hopes for her husband and eldest son to turn up. Photographer Fred Noy was there at the emotional reunion.

A Central African Refugee's Reunion With Her Sons Brings Joy and Sorrow

Conflict in Central African Republic

Since December 2012, the Central African Republic has been caught in a vicious cycle of violence that has seen some 400 people killed and 800 homes burned. This violence has caused as many as 400,000 people to flee their homes in search of safety. Many of the displaced live in the bush and are in need of shelter, food, water, sanitation and health care, especially during the current rainy season. In addition, many children have become separated from their families in the chaos of flight. Most of the affected are from areas outside Bangui, the capital, mainly from Ouham prefecture, where there are 175,000 displaced, with almost 40,000 in Bossangoa. Of these, some 37,000 are camping in dire conditions on the grounds of the Catholic Church and hundreds more in a school and a hospital. Photographer Boris Heger was in the area earlier this year and took these powerful images. The people still need help and the situation remains unstable.

Conflict in Central African Republic

New refugees from Central African Republic struggle with ration cuts in southern Chad

Since January 2014, a funding shortfall has forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to cut food rations by 60 per cent in refugee camps in southern Chad. The reduction comes as thousands of refugees from Central African Republic (CAR) continue to arrive in the south - more than 14,000 of them since the beginning of 2014. Many arrive sick, malnourished and exhausted after walking for months in the bush with little food or water. They join some 90,000 other CAR refugees already in the south - some of them for years.

The earlier refugees have been able to gain some degree of self-reliance through agriculture or employment, thus making up for some of the food cuts. But the new arrivals, fleeing the latest round of violence in their homeland, are facing a much harsher reality. And many of them - particularly children - will struggle to survive because WFP has also been forced cut the supplemental feeding programmes used to treat people trying to recover from malnutrition.

WFP needs to raise US$ 186 million to maintain feeding programmes for refugees in Africa through the end of the year. Additionally, UNHCR is urgently seeking contributions towards the US$ 78 million it has budgeted this year for food security and nutrition programmes serving refugees in Africa.

Photojournalist Corentin Fohlen and UNHCR Public Information Officer Céline Schmitt visited CAR refugees in southern Chad to document their plight and how they're trying to cope.

New refugees from Central African Republic struggle with ration cuts in southern Chad

Edwige Deals With Loss by Keeping Busy and Aiding Others in Mole Camp

Edwige Kpomako is a woman in a hurry; but her energy also helps the refugee from Central African Republic (CAR) to cope with the tragedy that forced her to flee to northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) last year. Before violence returned to her country in 2012, the 25-year-old was studying for a Masters in American literature in Bangui, and looking forward to the future. "I started my thesis on the works of Arthur Miller, but because of the situation in CAR . . . ," she said, her voice trailing off. Instead, she had to rush to the DRC with a younger brother, but her fiancée and 10-year old son were killed in the inter-communal violence in CAR.

After crossing the Oubangui River to the DRC, Edwige was transferred to Mole, a camp housing more than 13,000 refugees. In a bid to move on with her life and keep busy, she started to help others, assume a leadership role and take part in communal activities, including the Brazilian martial art of capoeira. She heads the women's committee, is engaged in efforts to combat sexual violence, and acts as a liaison officer at the health centre. She also teaches and runs a small business selling face creams. "I discovered that I'm not weak," said Edwige, who remains optimistic. She is sure that her country will come out of its nightmare and rebuild, and that she will one day become a human rights lawyer helping refugees.

American photojournalist Brian Sokol took these photos.

Edwige Deals With Loss by Keeping Busy and Aiding Others in Mole Camp

The Senseless Suffering Continues in the Central African Republic

A year after the Seleka, a coalition of predominantly Muslim rebel groups, seized power in Central African Republic (CAR), the impoverished country is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis, marked by brutality and massive displacement. UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, after visiting the capital Bangui last month, called the situation in Central African Republic "a humanitarian catastrophe of unspeakable proportions." The roots of the inter-communal conflict are complicated and have been marked in recent weeks by retaliatory attacks on civilians by the Seleka and the rival Christian Anti-Balaka militia. One in five people have fled their homes: some 625,000 are internally displaced and 312,000 are in neighbouring countries. Some 2.5 million people in CAR need help, but funding is low, and large parts of the country are too dangerous to reach. The displaced are spread all over, including more than 54,000 at Bangui's international airport. They need help and protection. Photographer Annibale Greco recently travelled with UNHCR to areas where the displaced have found shelter. These are his images.

The Senseless Suffering Continues in the Central African Republic

Batalimo to Batanga and Beyond: Congolese Return Home from CAR

Over the past month, almost 6,300 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have left the Batalimo camp in the troubled Central African Republic and returned voluntarily to their homes in Equateur province. Their decision to go back is a further sign of the gravity of the situation in Central African Republic, where escalated violence since December has left hundreds of thousands internally displaced and forced almost 350,000 to flee to neighbouring countries. The refugees at Batalimo were among some 20,000 Congolese who had fled to the Central African Republic to escape inter-ethnic conflict back home. The return operation from Batalimo had been postponed several times for security and logistical reasons, but on April 10 the first convoy headed across the Oubangui River. The last arrived in the DRC on May 10. The UN refugee agency organized transportation of the refugees from Batalimo to the Central African Republic riverside town of Zinga, where they boarded boats for the crossing to Batanga or Libenge in Equateur province. In Batanga, the returnees were registered, provided with documentation and given a cash grant to help them reintegrate. They were then transported to their villages, where they will be monitored. Photographer Leonora Baumann followed one group back to the DRC.

Batalimo to Batanga and Beyond: Congolese Return Home from CAR

The Most Important Thing: Central African Republic Refugees

Over the past year, the UN refugee agency has run a series of photosets on its website by American photographer Brian Sokol focusing on the possessions that refugees take with them when they are forced to flee from their homes. We started last August with Sudanese refugees in South Sudan and have since covered refugees from Syria and Mali.

Last year, Sokol visited the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to ask refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) the same question: What is the most important thing you brought with you? He again received interesting answers from a wide range of people from rural and urban areas of CAR, where inter-communal violence has spiralled out of control. They are featured here and include a sandal that helped an old woman, a pair of crutches used by a man to reach safety and a boy's photo of his slain father. Another boy named the family members who escaped to safety with him as his most important possession - many would feel the same.

Tens of thousands of people have fled from CAR to neighbouring countries since December 2012, including 60,000 into northern DRC. Some 30,000 of them live in four refugee camps set up by UNHCR and the others are hosted by local families. For the majority, there was no time to pack before escaping. They fled extreme violence and chaos and arrived exhausted and traumatized in the DRC. They could take only the most essential and lightest belongings. The photos here were taken at Batanga Transit Centre, Boyabo Refugee Camp and Libenge village.

The Most Important Thing: Central African Republic Refugees

Shared Experience Binds Hosts and Refugees Across the Oubangui River

The Oubangui River is a vital source of food and water for the hundreds of thousands living along its 1,000-kilometre-long course, and many rely on it for transport, trade and agriculture. The river, forming the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with Central African Republic and Republic of Congo, has also been a life-saving bridge to safety for people fleeing the waves of violence that plague this deprived region - and a route back home when peace returns. This year, more than 40,000 terrified people have fled conflict in Central African Republic and crossed the river to find shelter in DRC's Equateur and Oriental provinces. Here they have received a warm welcome from the local people, many of whom know exactly what it is like to be a refugee. Time and again, newly arrived refugees from CAR seek out people they once hosted in Bangui and other places along the river. And these old friends are offering them and their families places in already cramped homes, and sharing their meagre resources. Photographer Brian Sokol recently travelled to Equateur province to document the extraordinary bond between the refugees and host communities. These are some of his striking portraits of hosts and their guests. They know that one day their roles could be reversed by the ebb and flow of violence.

Shared Experience Binds Hosts and Refugees Across the Oubangui River

Silent Success

Despite being chased from their homes in the Central African Republic and losing their livelihoods, Mbororo refugees have survived by embracing a new way of life in neighbouring Cameroon.

The Mbororo, a tribe of nomadic cattle herders from Central African Republic, started fleeing their villages in waves in 2005, citing insecurity as well as relentless targeting by rebel groups and bandits who steal their cattle and kidnap women and children for ransom.

They arrived in the East and Adamaoua provinces of Cameroon with nothing. Though impoverished, the host community welcomed the new arrivals and shared their scant resources. Despite this generosity, many refugees died of starvation or untreated illness.

Help arrived in 2007, when UNHCR and partner agencies began registering refugees, distributing food, digging and rehabilitating wells as well as building and supplying medical clinics and schools, which benefit refugees and the local community and promote harmony between them. The Mbororo were eager to learn a new trade and set up farming cooperatives. Though success didn't come immediately, many now make a living from their crops.

Mbororo refugees continue to arrive in Central African Republic - an average of 50 per month. The long-term goal is to increase refugees' self-reliance and reduce their dependency on humanitarian aid.

Silent Success

Joint Appeal: Help Needed for Central African RefugeesPlay video

Joint Appeal: Help Needed for Central African Refugees

The UN refugee agency and its partners appealed for more donor support to cope with the continuing outflow and deteriorating condition of refugees from the Central African Republic.

UNHCR's Dr. Paul Spiegel on the Border of CAR  and CameroonPlay video

UNHCR's Dr. Paul Spiegel on the Border of CAR and Cameroon

This video was shot by one of our staff* using a mobile phone as they helped refugees who had crossed the river to safety.

Central African Republic: Torn CommunitiesPlay video

Central African Republic: Torn Communities

For more than a year, inter-communal strife has displaced tens of thousands of people in the Central African Republic. But amid the violence, efforts are being made to promote reconciliation.

Central African Republic : Bangui Airport RefugePlay video

Central African Republic : Bangui Airport Refuge

UNHCR's High Commissioner António Guterres visits Central African Republic and meets internally displaced people in Bangui airport. He says the international community needs to give the CAR crisis the same focus as the emergencies in Syria and South Sudan.

Central African Republic:  Bangui Crisis Play video

Central African Republic: Bangui Crisis

The humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic continues to deteriorate with tens of thousands seeking shelter from the violence. In the capital Bangui, the fighting and sectarian violence of the past weeks has displaced an estimated 159,000 people, with 450 killings reported there and 160 in other parts of the country, according to the Central African Red Cross Society and the Danish Refugee Council in the past weeks.

Central Africa Republic: A Helping HandPlay video

Central Africa Republic: A Helping Hand

Earlier this year, militiamen attacked villages in northwest Central African Republic, causing hundreds of people to flee to the bush. In Paoua, the needs are great and people rely on the kindness of others.

DR Congo: Central African Republic RefugeesPlay video

DR Congo: Central African Republic Refugees

Fighting and a coup since late last year in Central African Republic have forced more than 30,000 people to seek refuge in DR Congo. UNHCR chief António Guterres visited some of them.
Central African Republic: The Forgotten CrisisPlay video

Central African Republic: The Forgotten Crisis

On a mission to Central African Republic, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres described the violence and forced displacement in the country as a forgotten tragedy.
The Mbororo: A way of life at riskPlay video

The Mbororo: A way of life at risk

Systematic attacks on settlements in Central African Republic have forced more than 60,000 people from the Mbororo tribe to flee to neighbouring Cameroon. UNHCR is trying to help these nomadic herdsmen restart their lives.
Chad: Influx from Central African RepublicPlay video

Chad: Influx from Central African Republic

The conflict in Central African Republic (CAR) receives far less media attention than that in Darfur, but the effects are much the same. More than 17,000 people have crossed into Chad since January, bringing the total number of CAR refugees to almost 70,000.