Central African Republic: Christian and Islamic NGOs Join to Promote Peace

The “Interfaith Partnership for the consolidation of peace in the Central African Republic” (CIPP), a joint project funded by a group of Christian and Islamic NGOs, has been launched to support the peace process in the country, which is making significant progress towards ending the ongoing civil war.

The CIPP is sponsored by the Interfaith Platform for the Peace of Central Africa, founded in 2013 by representatives of the three major religions of the country – the Catholic Archbishop of Bangui Monsignor Dieudonné Nzapalainga, the President of the Central African Islamic Council, Imam Oumar Kobine Layama, and the President of the Evangelical Alliance, Pastor Nicolas Guérékoyaméné-Gbangou – and by the Catholic Relief Service (CRS), Islamic Relief Worldwide, the children’s charity World Vision, and the Aegis Trust, which works to prevent genocide.

Monsignor Nzapalainga said: “For the first time, the partners will support a project which will last five years”.

The initiative has received funding worth $7 million from the American Agency for Development (USAID), in addition to the $4 million already donated by individuals. The programme has three strategic objectives: strengthening Central African institutions so that they become promoters of social cohesion; economic development of the poorer sections of the population; and support and peace education for victims of violence.

The project launched in Bangui on May 13th with a screening of an interview with the three leaders of the Interfaith Platform for Peace, who claim that the Central African crisis is not confessional but political and social.

According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, 2.7 million people are in need of aid in Central African Republic; 436,000 are internally displaced; and more than 460,000 people are living as refugees in neighbouring countries.

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