The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Reaching those most in need

Displacement due to conflict is on the rise. In the Central African Republic, the government, UNOPS and the World Bank worked together to support communities impacted by conflict – read how in the third of a three-part series.

In the Central African Republic and elsewhere, fragility, conflict and violence – compounded by the devastating impact of climate change – are driving people from their homes. Over the past decade, crises have forced millions to flee their homes to seek safety and peace.

The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-linked natural disasters such as flooding have placed an additional toll on people fleeing from conflict.

Alongside the Central African Republic's Ministry of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, UNOPS implemented the 'Support to Communities Affected by Displacement' (PACAD) project to support communities affected by forced displacement.

“Thanks to this project, the government has succeeded in bringing back many people, giving them their place again,” says Victor Bissekoin, Prefect of Ouaka.

Developing community infrastructure

UNOPS and the World Bank supported the government of the Central African Republic's efforts to build community infrastructure and increase access to basic services in remote, hard-to-reach areas of the country.

Rehabilitated roads now connect communities – and increase opportunities for economic prosperity.

New solar streetlights have helped increase a sense of security in communities.

And the construction and rehabilitation of schools, a youth centre, a health centre and a municipal park – among other community infrastructure – have strengthened local communities.

Social inclusion and sustainability

  • Creating jobs

    The project created more than 119,000 person days* of temporary jobs as part of labour-intensive public works. Women made up 27% of workers.

    *Defined as a 6 to 8-hour day of work performed by an individual, registered and paid by the PACAD project.

  • Assisting people in need

    More than 28,000 people received assistance as part of the project, including people displaced by conflict, returnees, host families and people affected by floods. Nearly 70% of the people who received assistance were women.

  • Sustainable light

    UNOPS installed 165 solar streetlights as part of the project. Members of the community were also trained on their use and maintenance.

Covering seven cities and two districts, PACAD helped improve access to basic services, built social infrastructure and created social safety nets for some of the most vulnerable communities – promoting stability, inclusion and resilience.

"PACAD's achievements not only meet infrastructure needs in a sustainable way but also those in terms of job creation,” says Virginie Baikoua, former Minister of Social Affairs and National Reconciliation, Central African Republic.

Direct help to those who need it most

Cash transfers help people who have been displaced meet their basic needs and help to strengthen social safety nets – reducing poverty, contributing to economic growth and promoting national reconciliation.

They ensure that income is redistributed to the poorest and most vulnerable, enabling households to make investments in their future, helping households manage risks and supporting the government with making choices that support efficiency and growth.

Using picture identification cards to verify the correct person is receiving payments, each participating household received eight quarterly cash transfers of approximately $50 over two years to meet their needs.

Recipients later received the payments as electronic transfers via mobile phones purchased by UNOPS, which reduced the security challenges of physically transporting and delivering cash – and enabled people to better access financial and educational services.

Meeting needs

  • 45K
    households received cash transfers
    Helping households

    More than 45,000 households Bangui, Bouar and Bria are benefiting from cash transfers that totalled more than $17.5 million.

  • 77%
    of households enroll their children in school

    In Bria, 77% of households that received cash transfers have been able to keep or newly enroll their children in school while 92% of cash transfer recipients said they were better able to meet their consumption needs (as of July 2023).

  • 81%
    of households paid for healthcare

    In Bangui, 81% of households that received cash transfers used the money to pay for healthcare for themselves or their children (as of July 2023).

  • 96%
    of households purchased needed items for their homes

    In Bouar, 96% of households that received cash transfers purchased household items, home appliances, furniture or construction materials while 95% of households used the money to pay for healthcare for themselves or their children (as of July 2023).

  • 95%
    of households invested in commercial activities
    Investing in communities

    In Bangui, 72% of people who received cash transfers invested in merchandise for further sale while in Bouar, 63.5% of people who received cash transfers invested in their agriculture or fishing businesses (as of July 2023).

Recipients have control over how to use the funds they receive. These funds enable them to invest in their livelihood and live in dignity.

“PACAD has transformed my life, it has allowed me to become a market seller. I can now provide for the needs of my five children, who I have even enrolled in school and who are benefiting from adequate nutrition.”

- Zeinab, Cash Transfer Recipient in Bambari

About the project

The 'Support to Communities Affected by Displacement' (PACAD) project is a $42 million programme funded by the World Bank in partnership with the government of the Central African Republic. Implemented by UNOPS, it is divided into three areas: infrastructure, cash transfer and community mobilization. Each component aims to address the basic needs of displaced communities in seven cities and two neighbourhoods of the capital, Bangui, to help improve living conditions and reduce poverty.

Key objectives of the programme are to promote peaceful dialogue among the communities by involving them in the planning, construction and maintenance of infrastructure; improve their access to services; and ensure the most vulnerable people have sufficient financial means to meet their daily needs.

Global Goals we are supporting through these initiatives:

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