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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

FACT SHEET: U.S. Assistance to the Central African Republic

In recent weeks, government affiliated armed groups and independent militias have committed shocking and horrific atrocities against innocent civilians in the Central African Republic (CAR).  The CAR faces extraordinary challenges to restore security and to ensure protection of the civilian population.  We are grateful for the important contributions made by the African Union, regional states, and France in support of the international community’s response.  And as President Obama said, as forces from other African countries and France work to restore security, the United States will support their efforts to protect civilians.  We are actively working to help end the violence, protect civilians, prevent atrocities, provide humanitarian assistance, and help create an environment that allows constitutional and democratic governance to be restored.

Security Assistance

The United States is providing up to $101 million in support for restoring security in CAR.  This includes:

  • Airlift for Burundi provided by the Department of Defense. 

  • Up to $60 million in defense services for French forces and defense articles and services for the African-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) troop contributors under the drawdown authority. 

    • $40 million in Peacekeeping Operations funding to support MISCA, which will include: 

    • Provision of non-lethal equipment, to include armored personnel carriers, 4x4s, troop carriers, logistics trucks, fuel tankers, recovery vehicles, ambulances, personal protective equipment, communications,  headquarters assistance, and materials for construction of defensive fortifications. 

  • Provision of pre-deployment training for rotating units, both through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program and U.S. Africa Command. 

  • At the invitation of the African Union, a team of U.S. liaison officers will assist in coordinating U.S. support to MISCA.  

  • We will seek to support additional airlift requests from African partners who are committed to deploying forces to MISCA. 

Humanitarian Assistance

In FY 2013, the United States provided more than $24 million in humanitarian assistance to CAR.  Of the tens of millions of dollars in support to refugees throughout the region, more than $6 million went specifically for new CAR refugees.

Today we announced an additional $15 million in humanitarian assistance.  This new assistance includes:

  • $10 million for the World Food Program to support general food distributions and supplementary feeding for internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and conflict affected populations throughout CAR. 

  • $5 million to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross to conduct protection activities and provide multi-sectoral assistance to refugees, IDPs, and conflict affected populations throughout CAR. 

Conflict Mitigation, Reconciliation and Peacebuilding

President Obama spoke directly to the people of CAR in an audio message to underscore the importance of reconciliation between its people.  We support efforts to help prevent further violence and improve understanding and tolerance between the CAR’s varied communities, ethnic groups, and religions.  The United States will provide the following assistance:

  • Subject to Congressional notification, nearly $7.5 million in funding to support conflict mitigation, reconciliation and peacebuilding, including interreligious peacebuilding efforts and using community radio to amplify peace messages and dispel rumors, through the Complex Crises Fund and the Human Rights Grants Fund. 

  • $125,000 in funding from the State Department to create a network of local community and interfaith religious leaders to promote peace, conflict mitigation, and reconciliation efforts.  

  • Ongoing community protection and conflict mitigation work in areas in CAR affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. 

Justice and Accountability

Accountability for perpetrators who have committed atrocities is critical to ensuring justice for victims and to breaking the cycle of violence.  The United States welcomes the U.N. Secretary General’s creation of the Commission of Inquiry as called for in UN Security Council Resolution 2127.  The United States will support accountability in the CAR by:

  • Supporting the work of the Commission of Inquiry by sharing information, as appropriate, and providing technical assistance and advice to the United Nations on the establishment of the COI. 

  • Advising CAR leaders to assist them holding perpetrators of atrocities to account. 

  • Ensuring access to justice for women survivors of sexual and gender based violenceFor the past two years, the State Department has provided nearly $300,000 to fund partner organizations to support access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence, including through providing legal and psychosocial support, and community outreach.  These programs have served over 6,000 survivors of gender based violence thus far and the State Department will continue that support.  The State Department will provide an additional $200,000 to extend this program by a year.  

Enhanced U.S. Presence

The United States recognizes the importance of a sustained presence in the CAR to help support humanitarian assistance, MISCA and French efforts to restore security, the political process leading to free and fair elections, conflict prevention, reconciliation, and accountability.

We will increase our presence through regular visits, including an interagency assessment trip led by USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs, Nancy Lindborg, in January.  Our increased rotational presence will include humanitarian assistance, reconciliation, peacebuilding and political transition experts, who will support our efforts to help the people of CAR.  And we will move to reopen our Embassy in Bangui as security conditions allow.