BANGUI, May 16, 2017 – The World Bank today approved a $28 million grant for the Central African Republic to help communities affected by forced displacement. The grant was provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.
The project will benefit 190,000 people (half of them are women) who reside primarily in four towns with large numbers of displaced persons: Batangafo, Kaga-Bandoro, Bambari, and Bria. The populations in Bangui’s 3rd and 5th districts—neighborhoods that were especially hard hit by the political and security crisis that plunged the country into chaos between 2013 and 2015—will also benefit from the project, which will help facilitate the return of communities that had fled these areas to seek refuge in camps.
The project will help improve access to basic services for displaced and host communities alike and provide direct financial assistance to the most vulnerable in both communities. “Facilitating the return of the displaced is a major challenge for a country that has over 900,000 displaced persons out of a total population of five million inhabitants,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Manager for the Central African Republic. “By simultaneously improving the living conditions of the displaced and host communities, this project hopes to also help strengthen social cohesion in the country,” said Ana Paula Fialho Lopes, World Bank Task Team Leader.
A safety net program will provide temporary assistance to the poorest households. “Each household will receive a total of CFAF 25,000 ($40) each quarter, or CFAF 100,000 ($170) over a 12-month period, which is equivalent to between roughly 10 to 15 percent of the food consumption level of a five-person household,” said Giuseppe Zampaglione, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Safety Nets Project. “These small, regular payments should therefore help improve living conditions in the most vulnerable households.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.