Since the year 1960, when the Central African Republic gained its independence, this landlocked country has been going through a long period of an uneasy development. Several coup d’états, unstable security situation, absence of state, military conflicts and a lack of interest of the international community highly contributed to the fact that this country is now one of the poorest in the world. According to the information provided by the UN Office for the Coordination of the Humanitarian Affairs, almost half of the Central African population is still dependent on the help of the humanitarian community. The role of humanitarian organizations in substituting the state in delivering basic services to the needy people is thus crucial as the crisis is continuing. More than 170,000 people are still affected by displacement, of whom estimated 100,000 are internally displaced persons and the rest are returnees. The active presence of five domestic and two international rebel groups in the country hampers severely the activities of humanitarian actors especially in the North-east and in the eastern part of CAR. Establishing durable peace and security are thus the main priorities which will enable better humanitarian access to vulnerable population.
As obvious from the previous paragraph, the reason why CAR was chosen as one of the deployment countries for the EUROSHA project is easily justified. This country has been going through a long-term crisis. Also classified as a failed state, the presence and activity of the local and international humanitarian actors is still necessary. EUROSHA can (and we all believe that it will) contribute to better coordination and cooperation of humanitarian activities in CAR, and as the recent few weeks have showed, there is a rising interest in our project from the side of both international and local actors. We are currently working on establishing cooperation with the Department of Geography at the University of Bangui, with UNICEF, with several other NGOs and local authorities. This week we also started with collecting data for the EUROSHA Sahana Eden by visiting three big hospitals in Bangui. This experience gave us a strong impression of the state of the local health care system which suffers from a lack of human and especially financial resources. Sometimes we had the feeling of traveling back in time into the 19th century. Despite that, we were accepted warmly by a director of one of these hospitals, Hôpital communautaire, and we were perceived with a lot of interest in our work and in the idea of sharing information via the open-source database Sahana. Meeting people like him, enthusiastic and commited to his work despite all the difficulties he has to face gives us new power to continue in our own struggling. Because things are not always simple and because our work and our life in Africa is not always easy. The tropical rain pouring on our heads is sometimes too strong and not always there is someone to cover us under an umberella. And being wet too often can make you one day sick.
They say the rainy season should be over soon. Fingers crossed!