Cash for work encourages coexistence in Central African RepublicListen /
A cash for work project has been started in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic to promote cooperation and reconciliation between Christian and Muslim communities.
The street-cleaning project, initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) involves locals in one of the last areas where Muslims and Christians continue to live in relative harmony.
According to IOM youths from these communities are facing intense pressure from armed groups that have attacked people forcing thousands of them to flee their homes.
Sandra Black is IOM's Communications Officer in Bangui.
"This is part of our retention of mixed communities, social cohesion programme. We are trying to give people a reason to stay in their own neighborhoods. These are mixed neighborhoods in 5th and 3rd arondissements and we want them to stay that way. The economy of the Central-African Republic, Bangui, and these people of these neighborhoods is really hurting a lot. So we give them employment and a chance to contribute to their neighbourhood." (24")
After months of fighting, there are more than 700,000 internally displaced people in the Central African Republic, over 270,000 of them in Bangui and 425,000 outside the capital.
Muslims and ethnic minorities have fled from most neighborhoods in Bangui.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.