IOM has agreed with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and humanitarian partners to assist in the voluntary return and reinsertion of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Mpoko IDP camp next to the runway of Bangui International Airport. © IOM 2015
IOM has agreed with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR) and humanitarian partners to assist in the voluntary return and reinsertion of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from the Mpoko IDP camp located next to the runway of Bangui International Airport.
In early April, CAR’s transitional government announced plans to close Mpoko camp by the end of June 2015. There are an estimated 18,000 IDPs currently living in the camp, according to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC). Based on a return intentions study facilitated by DRC in the camp, an estimated 70 per cent of the IDPs accepted the idea of return or relocation, and indicated their destination of choice.
At the height of the conflict in CAR that broke out in 2013, over 900,000 people were displaced nationwide. To date, nearly 167,000 remain displaced.
“With IOM support, the IDPs at Mpoko camp will have the opportunity to return to their home or relocate to an alternative district within the Bangui-Bimbo area,” said Torsten Haschenz, IOM CAR Chief of Mission.
Under the guidance of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, IOM will implement the assistance programme in coordination with the Bureau of the Senior Humanitarian Coordinator, UN OCHA, WFP, World Vision and Première Urgence (PU-AMI). The bank Credit Mutuel de Centrafrique (CMCA) will serve as the implementing partner for the payment of reinsertion grants to the relocating families to support their transition into the community.
In addition to the one-time cash grant, IDPs will receive a reinsertion package that includes two months of food rations provided by WFP, a tarpaulin for shelter improvement provided by IOM, and three mosquito nets from IFRC. World Vision will coordinate the distribution of all non-food items based on the IOM referral.
IOM conducted focus group discussions among the IDPs to disseminate information on the return procedures and timeline.
The voluntary de-registration and return exercise started on Tuesday, 5 May 2015 and will continue for the next 2-4 months. To date, 238 households have de-registered from the site and will soon commence their return to the 5th district of Bangui.
The return and reinsertion programme is funded by the UN Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF).
Through its EU-funded Community Stabilization project, IOM is in the process of rehabilitating vital infrastructure, including water points, schools, social centres and maternity clinics in areas of high return.
Through Cash for work initiatives, to which returnees gain access upon arrival in their areas of origin, IOM further supports cleaning of public spaces, rain gutters and streets.
Participation in Cash for work initiatives facilitates access to short-term income generating opportunities for the returning population and allows a direct interaction with other community members.
To date, over 13,000 people have successfully participated in the project, most of whom have returned from different displacement sites throughout the capital.
Under this project, IOM is also providing logistical support to other ongoing efforts to decommission larger displacement sites in the capital by transferring construction materials for durable shelter solutions, as well as gravel and sand for clearing of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sites.