Refugees collect water at DRC's compound in Batangafo. PHOTO: DRC

DRC immediately responds to humanitarian crisis in Batangafo (CAR)

At the end of July, resurgent conflict in the small municipality of Batangafo in Central African Republic forced more than half of the city’s population to flee. DRC is the only NGO present and capable of acting promptly by providing protection and humanitarian assistance.

15.08.2017

As conflict re-erupted in Batafango, houses and huts inhabited by internally displaced persons were burnt and more than 25,000 people were forced to flee. More than half sought refuge in the town’s hospital, others in the church, and well over 2,000 came to take refuge within DRC walls. The IDPs had been staying in the area since 2014 when they were displaced due to the conflict.

CAR - Batangafo water

Refugees have sought shelter at DRC's compound in Batangafo. PHOTO: DRC

DRC was seemingly the only protection actor capable of providing an immediate and appropriate response as most activities had been put on standby due to the insecure situation in the area.

“The fighting forced me to seek refuge at DRC,” says 28-year old Romuald: “DRC built shelters for us, we have drinking water, sanitation for our children, and they give us tips with hygiene. We also have access to medical support with (the organization, ed.) MENTOR within this site.”

Today, Batanfago is almost deserted. The clashes have contributed to a sharp deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the city and to an increased need of protection for IDPs.

DRC insists on the right of the individual - no matter religion or ethnicity - to receive humanitarian aid and on our right and duty to provide such aid whenever we can. Thanks to funding from the USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, DRC is currently the only actor able to provide Shelters, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene assistance through water trucking, as well as construction of emergency latrines and showers for IDPs taking refuge in and around the hospital and within DRC’s compound.

“The life conditions we were able to build here have been very satisfying. The IDPs are well received and DRC is well organized. I have nowhere to go now. I believe DRC provides me with safety here,” says 28-year old Medard.

A survey of the displaced population is underway by the DRC to get a better idea of ​​the needs as 25,888 persons were displaced. With support of Swiss Cooperation *(SDC), DRC will provide emergency psychosocial support to the most vulnerable persons and will provide basic protection assistance in order to ensure access to these services during this crisis. Psychosocial and medical cases will be referred to appropriate and specialized organizations once activities are restarted.