No hope of returning home any time soon
Renewed outbreaks of inter-communal violence since September 2015 are keeping the population in the Central African Republic (CAR) on edge, with many fearing a flare-up of full conflict. The worsening security situation has also crushed hopes for the 450,000 internally displaced people - and a similar number of refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries - of returning home in the near future.
In the capital Bangui, over 30,000 people have taken refuge in overcrowded, unsanitary makeshift camps across town, or in churches and schools. MSF is running mobile clinics, a hospital and a maternity clinic in camps in and around Bangui, The team also provides medical care once a week at the central mosque in a Muslim enclave.
Lucienne help her sick daughter make an appointment at the MSF hospital in the camp. She fled her home two years ago when four of her neighbours were killed during an outbreak of violence. Since then, she has been seeking safety in a camp together with her family. “Life is too difficult in the camp. It’s unsafe, dirty and the flies are everywhere” she says.
Reims Pali, Assistant Field Coordinator for MSF, has witnessed the situation deteriorate in the last two years. “In comparison to the abuses, killings and robberies in their neighborhoods, they feel relatively safe here. But the living conditions in the sites are very difficult. Unless the security situation gets better, they will have to stay here in these camps.”
MSF now has over 300 international and more than 2,000 Central African staff deployed in the country. The organisation runs activities in 15 locations and provides assistance to Central African refugees in neighbouring countries.
Despite poor living conditions, people still prefer to stay in the camps at night for safety. © Luca Sola
In a displaced persons camp at the capital Bangui, people are living in small and shabby tents. © Luca Sola
Patients are waiting for treatment at an MSF hospital in Bangui. © Luca Sola
A baby is weighed in an MSF hospital in Bangui. MSF is providing free quality care at camps in and around the city. © Luca Sola
A patient receives medication at an MSF clinic. Most patients suffer from malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea because of the deplorable conditions in the camp. © Luca Sola
The picture is of Amousa, who was 23 years old when he died. His mother, Alima, is trying to cope by relying on other people in the camp, as she and her husband are unemployed. © Luca Sola
A man is brought to the MSF hospital in Bangui after being tied up and beaten. Violence is not uncommon in the country. © Luca Sola
Ethna’s home was attacked by armed men so she fled to take refuge in the camp. She is making a living by selling cakes in the street. “We only have enough food for ourselves and our children for one meal a day.” © Luca Sola