IOM Brings Humanitarian Assistance to Internally Displaced in Southern Central African Republic

Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons

Bangassou – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has begun distributing humanitarian assistance to some of the 16,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bangassou, a town in the South-Eastern region of the Central African Republic (CAR) that borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The assistance includes household items and shelter kits.

Earlier in June, IOM was able to access Bangassou and distribute shelter kits for the first time this year. This included 600 shelter kits containing wood, nails and tarps, as well as 450 kits consisting of basic household materials including cooking pots and utensils, plates, cups, cutlery, and floor mats. Another 1,800 households will receive household kits by the end of the year.

Approximately 687,000 people have been displaced internally as a result of the crisis in the Central African Republic, which began in 2013. In May 2017, renewed waves of violence forced populations in Bangassou to seek refuge in a makeshift site near a local cathedral. This renewed wave of displacement added to the already significant number of displaced persons living with host communities in the neighbourhoods of Bangassou who are unable to return to their communities of origin due to insecurity.

“It is a difficult situation which continues to worsen as the rainy season approaches,” said Ali, an IDP representative on site. “Our access to goods and services is entirely restricted and we depend largely on humanitarian assistance. We need more assistance.”

The volatility of the security situation in CAR led to the United Nations cancelling humanitarian flights to the South-Eastern region for several weeks in April 2018, which considerably slowed down relief operations, but the flights have since resumed.

Priority was given to the most vulnerable, including individuals with physical disabilities, female-headed households, individuals living with chronic diseases, and youths. Prior to the distributions, IOM held a series of meetings with community leaders both on site and in the neighbourhoods of Bangassou to ensure local buy-in.

All distributions were coordinated with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and were carried out with the support of the Central African Red Cross (CRCA).

This distribution also marks the beginning of a series of humanitarian operations – which includes psychosocial support and continued Non-Food Item/Shelter kit distributions – targeting the South-Eastern region to be implemented by IOM with USD 1.2 million funding from the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund and the Government of Canada.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Mann at IOM Bangui, Tel: +236 72 34 80 37, Email:


  • IOM staff distributed shelter kits to IDPs of petit seminaire site in Bangassou, CAR. Photo: IOM 2018