Central African Republic
The Central African Republic (CAR) has experienced several periods of armed conflict since its independence in 1960. These turbulent years affected the entire society, but especially left behind a large number of victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
In 2007, the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in CAR, focusing on crimes committed from 2002 to 2003 (CAR I). In 2014, the ICC Prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, focusing on crimes committed as of 2012 (CAR II). In 2018, the ICC acquitted Jean-Pierre Bemba who had been prosecuted for the alleged commission of crimes during the CAR I situation. The case of Prosecutor v. Alfred Yekatom and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona is since 2020 at the trial stage (CAR II).
Over 15 per cent of women and girls in CAR`s violence-ridden north have been victims of sexual violence. These crimes have mainly affected women and girls, but men and boys have also been targeted for rape, sexual torture, sexual slavery, sexual humiliation and forced incest.
Victim survivors of sexual violence often suffer from short-term and long-term consequences in regards to their health, psychological well-being and social integration. Years of crisis have left the healthcare system in CAR in shambles. There is estimated to be one doctor for every 3,000 people and one nurse for every 1,000. Additionally, 37 per cent of the CAR’s population would need to walk an average of 10km just to reach the closest health centre.
The TFV Launches Assistance Pilot Project in CAR
In September 2020, the TFV launched a pilot project under its assistance mandate in CAR I. This pilot project aims to support the most vulnerable victims and their families in Bangui, living in precarious conditions and suffering long-term harm as a result of sexual violence in conflict.
The project will contribute to improving the socio-economic situation, and the rehabilitation of the mental and physical health of the most vulnerable victim survivors. The programme comprises six major elements:
- Medical care for pathological diseases associated with HIV/Aids;
- Access to food security and nutritional support;
- Access to psychological care;
- Access to education for dependents;
- Access to housing for homeless victims;
- Assistance with income-generating activities
Implementing Partners and Project Roles
The TFV pilot project in the CAR is being implemented by Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI), an Italian organization active in the country for over 40 years. The project has a value of €250,000 and will run through August 2021.
The Assistance Programme in relation to victims of CAR I and CAR II with five implementing partners has been launched in early 2021.
CAR Assistance Programme
In the Central African Republic (CAR) the TFV launched a pilot project in September 2020 and a full five-year programme in February 2021. The TFV also launched a three-year programme in Côte d’Ivoire (CIV) in November 2020. The TFV continued in May 2021 its second year of the new cycle of an assistance programme in the eastern DRC and in April 2021 its third year in northern Uganda. The Board decided in November 2020 to open new assistance programmes in Georgia, Kenya, and Mali. The TFV has started the procurement process to select implementing partners in these three new countries and aims to finalised the process by the end of 2021. As of 30 June 2021, the TFV has 24 ongoing assistance projects, of which six are in CAR, three in CIV, 10 in the DRC, and five in Uganda.
The new assistance programme builds on the TFV’s pilot project which was launched in September 2020. The programme will have a wider reach in terms of the number of individuals (up to 8,000 direct beneficiaries) who can benefit from the programme and the geographical areas it will cover. The full assistance programme offers an integrated package of medical and psychological care, as well as socio-economic support including education, vocational training and income generating activities. One of the priorities of this programme is supporting the vulnerable and marginalised survivors of sexual and gender-based crimes