IOM Hands Over Rehabilitated Community Infrastructure in Bangui, CAR

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

Days after the inauguration of a new president, Faustin Touadéra, IOM and local people celebrated the completed rehabilitation of a social centre and a market in Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR). The initiative was part of IOM's European Union (EU)-funded Community Stabilization programme.

Both construction projects are located in the 5th district of Bangui — an area that has been heavily affected by intercommunal violence since 2013. Since March 2014, IOM has engaged with the community in the area to identify and prioritize community needs in order to contribute to greater community stability.

Through a series of community meetings, 12 infrastructure projects were identified, of which nine have been finalized. All the work was completed by IOM “Cash for Work” beneficiaries, who were given vocational training that also will help them to generate income in the longer term.

The rehabilitations will help vulnerable populations to access basic social services. This is one of the main objectives of the Community Stabilisation Project, which aims to strengthen social cohesion in at-risk communities through the rehabilitation of infrastructure and generating dialogue between communities and local authorities.

The rehabilitation of the social centre in Malimaka and the market in Galababa are of particular importance due to the high number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the districts. Increasing access to markets and social services will contribute to the reintegration of IDPs in their communities of origin.

“The opening of the market in Galababa, a neighbourhood which was vastly destroyed, will bring life back into the area — people will realize that it is possible to return without fear. The social centre in Malimaka accommodates over 100 children every day from different religious and ethnic groups and it inspires hope that normalcy is returning. This is the first step in the transition from conflict to stability,” said Alain Yemo, mayor of the 5th district.

Since the start of the Community Stabilization programme in March 2014, 40 infrastructure projects — including the rehabilitation of schools, medical facilities and social centres — have contributed to revitalization and a stabilization of conflict-affected communities in CAR.