The Central African Republic (CAR) has erupted in fresh turmoil in recent months. Widespread violence has killed thousands and caused about 1 million people to flee their homes. Those operating in the country say about 2.5 million people require assistance, but humanitarian groups have a difficult time accounting for the true scale of people’s needs, because fighting has reduced their access to vulnerable people.
There are more than 700,000 people displaced in the country. Another 290,000 have fled to neighboring nations, mainly to Cameroon. Reports indicate 80 percent of CAR refugees have arrived in poor physical condition and suffering from disease, while 20 percent of refugee children are severely malnourished.
Pray for children
Before fighting began in CAR, basic humanitarian indicators showed children — just under half the nation’s 4.6 million people — to be facing some of the world’s worst living conditions. This conflict significantly increases children’s vulnerability to malnutrition, disease, loss of education, abuse, and recruitment to serve militia groups.
Lord, we echo the psalmist’s confidence, “He will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help” (Psalm 72:12). Thank you for seeing the needs of precious boys and girls who are suffering deprivation and danger. Hear and answer their cries for help.
Pray for peace
Political control for the nation of CAR has caused the fighting, but it is masked as a religious conflict. Humanitarian groups have seen the violence reach levels of horrific brutality. And the U.N.’s human rights chief has characterized the situation as “dire.”
Lord, the psalmist says, “…A future awaits those who seek peace” (Psalm 37:37). The only hope for this nation lies in a peaceful end to the conflict. Help those who seek the nation's political control to work cooperatively for peace. Let the longing for safety in people’s hearts result in action that stops the violence.
Pray for protection and funding
The conflict has not drawn widespread attention in the United States, so the atrocities are not well known and little financing has come to fund emergency relief. Humanitarian groups have lost staff in the violence, and their ability to help suffering people is hindered by lack of access where danger is high.
Lord, aid groups are hampered by the lack of funds and the dangers posed by violence. The psalmist says, “Blessed is he who has regard for the weak….” (Psalm 41:1). Protect, encourage, and strengthen those who are at work in CAR to bring relief to people who are suffering. And help funds come in to support their efforts.
Pray for World Vision
World Vision has not previously labored in Central African Republic, but has now sent staff to plan and begin our work in this difficult place. We feel called to help, and believe that as a Christian organization, we can be peacemakers and a voice to help suffering children.
Lord, we repeat the psalmist’s words, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure” (Psalm 18:32). We humbly ask for Your protection and strength as we prepare to enter this difficult situation. Give our staff wisdom and direction as they plan and carry out programs to help those in desperate need.