DOCUMENT TAGS Start Fund learning
Crisis response summary: Central African Republic, displacement
15 January 2016
From 26 to 30 September 2015, rapid and widespread violence erupted in Bangui, Central African Republic, sparked by the killing of a Muslim taxi driver that triggered unexpected clashes between pro and anti-government militias.
Immediate reports detailed 41 deaths and 266 injured including children, coordinated looting of private homes in various neighbourhoods as well as 10 local and international humanitarian organisations (UN & INGOs), the escape of more than 500 inmates from Ngaragba prison, and an influx of at least 42,580 people to various IDP camps in the capital.
On 2 October, War Child UK alerted the Start Fund, noting the lack of government assistance, the severe strain placed on IDP communities as a result of this influx, the urgency of needs particularlyaround Protection, Health, Shelter and WaSH as reported in a 30 September UN OCHA report, and the ability of the Start Fund to fill a temporary gap in funding as local agencies waited for theUN and other donors.
On 5 October, 74 hours after the Start Fund alert, £70,000 was awarded to Tearfund to address needs in FATEB and Bethanie IDP camps in Bangui, working alongside with its partner ‘Facultede Theologie Evangelique de Bangui’ (FATEB) to address needs related to FSL (food distribution), Protection (psychological support) and WaSH (hygiene kit distribution and purification of waterpoints). Based on further needs assessments and consultations with the IDP community, Tearfund switched from in-kind food and WaSH distribution to unconditional cash transfers, given thatother agencies were able to supply food stocks to IDP camps on 6 October, reduced insecurity allowed local markets to supply basic items, and that this would allow for greater flexibility inmeeting additional needs of each household, including school fees for children. The project also erected lights throughout the camp in response to reports of sexual gender based violence,drawing from some of the funds meant to repair taps and extend water points, which was being provided by ACTED and other agencies.
Tearfund experienced several challenges during implementation. The project was designed during the height of insecurity with staff in the country on lockdown in Bangui and staff outside ofthe country unable to return. This placed a heavy workload on the skeleton staff left to manage the project. The scarcity of goods in the local market due to insecurity at the start of the projectheightened costs of goods, however the situation improved once MINUSCA started escort ingconvoys to protect them against militia attacks. Additionally, the move to cash based programming,while important, required lengthy administrative processes for selecting microfinance and bank institutions, negotiating contracts and mitigating fraud (identification photos). On the advice of
another INGO, Tearfund first contacted SOFIA and then changed to Ecobank.
This project reached 1,228 people (52% female, 48% male), with £65,365, 3% of the total affected population and 1,284 fewer people than planned. Tearfund targeted all IDPs in FATEBand Bethanie camps, with particular attention paid to young children, elderly people, people with sicknesses, and people with disabilities. Children under 18 (33%) and people over 50 (21%)together made up 54% of people reached.