Map of Central African Republic
Joseline, 26, who was displaced in Bossangoa by the violence, with her two children vaccinated. © UNICEF/PFPG2013P-0442/Laurent Duvillier Joseline, 26, who was displaced in Bossangoa by the violence, with her two children vaccinated.

Central African Republic

Updated May 2014

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:
250,000

children under 5 immunized against measles

100,000

children participate in temporary learning spaces

2,000

children released from armed forces and groups

2014 Requirements: US$81,000,000

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Snapshot

Total affected population: 4.6 million
Total affected children (under 18): 2.3 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 1.8 million
Total children to be reached in 2014: 1 million

In 2013, the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) developed from a silent emergency into a visible and complex humanitarian and protection crisis. As a result of a rebel offensive that started in December 2012 and a seizure of power on 24 March 2013, the country has seen a major deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation, including increased violence, fear and instability. Most recently, the fighting taking place in Bangui since early December 2013 has further intensified humanitarian needs. An estimated 2.5 million people are in need of assistance in CAR.1 There is a critical lack of basic services, including water and health care, with limited availability of health staff and medicines, and major disruptions to education. Insecurity has also affected trade, and has resulted in major population movements within CAR. As of April 2014, an estimated 603,000 internally displaced persons have fled the violence and require immediate assistance.2 Children in particular are bearing the brunt of the crisis. Insecurity and lawlessness throughout the country have led to children being displaced, separated, maimed, abducted, killed and raped. Gender-based violence has also increased dramatically and the number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to at least 6,000.3 In addition, 1.1 million people are food insecure,4 a situation that places a growing number of children at risk of malnutrition.

Humanitarian Strategy

2014 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 16,800 children under 5 affected by SAM admitted for treatment
  • 6,000 women sensitized on infant and young child feeding practices

Health

  • 250,000 children under 5 immunized against measles
  • 740,000 children under 5 receive vitamin A
  • 2 million people access basic health services and medicines

WASH

  • 700,000 affected people have access to safe, reliable water in sufficient quantity
  • 225,000 internally displaced persons have access to improved sanitation
  • 225,000 people in affected areas benefit from awareness raising communication campaigns on hand washing with soap

Child Protection

  • 2,000 children released from armed forces and groups and 80 percent are reintegrated with their families
  • 2,000 women and girls identified as survivors of sexual violence have access to holistic support
  • 95,000 displaced and vulnerable children participate in recreational activities in child-friendly spaces

Education

  • 100,000 children participate in temporary learning spaces
  • 300,000 children receive learning and playing materials

HIV and AIDS

  • 5,300 children born to mothers living with HIV receive appropriate treatment
  • 68,000 pregnant women receive HIV/AIDS counselling
  • 2,000 children with HIV previously on ARVs continue to receive treatment

Rapid Response Mechanism

  • 120,000 highly vulnerable people assisted with WASH/non-food items

 

Following the activation of its ‘Level 3’ corporate emergency procedure in December 2013, UNICEF strengthened its field presence in CAR and its capacity to accelerate the delivery of humanitarian assistance through surge deployments and the recruitment of programme and logistics staff. This included bolstering dedicated cluster capacities. UNICEF is the cluster lead for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, and education, and for the child protection area of responsibility. In addition to coordination with partners from the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations, UNICEF will continue to engage with the Transitional National Authority to enable more effective humanitarian planning and accountability. Emergency programme emphasis will remain focussed on life-saving interventions to address vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases, malaria and malnutrition, as well as reducing the risks faced by displaced populations. The UNICEF-supported Rapid Response Mechanism will provide non-food items to at least 120,000 displaced people, including acutely affected children and their parents. UNICEF will continue its efforts to identify and release all children associated with armed groups, and then integrate these children into reception and rehabilitation services. It will also support functional and accurate monitoring and reporting mechanisms on grave child rights violations. UNICEF remains committed to enabling access to primary education, with emphases on safety and quality learning. UNICEF programmes will favour inter-sector approaches that are sensitive to the need for gender-informed accountability, including the risk of HIV infection among vulnerable populations.

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$31.9 million for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$11,671,942, or 36.6 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. In 2013, UNICEF and partners focused on delivering life-saving interventions, including immunization campaigns and the provision of clean water and essential medicines, while building capacity at the local level. With improved access to health facilities, UNICEF supported the implementation of a national measles campaign, and also carried out polio vaccination, vitamin A supplementation and deworming. Eighty per cent of targeted children were vaccinated in October (with the remaining children to be reached in November). UNICEF also provided therapeutic supplies to 11,684 severely malnourished children. In addition, 238,000 people accessed medical kits and equipment, and 7,800 children, young people and women accessed HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment. In the context of high insecurity, UNICEF was able to support the return of 30,000 children to school through accelerated learning programmes and the provision of learning and recreational materials and furniture. The WASH response was constrained by delays in the off-shore provision of supplies and poor access related to insecurity, both of which made WASH targets difficult to attain. Access to acutely vulnerable children, including survivors of gender-based violence (1,431 beneficiaries reached), children associated with armed groups (182 children released) and separated children (672 reunified) has been difficult. The Rapid Response Mechanism conducted 24 primary emergency assessments focusing on the worst hit areas of northwest, central and south CAR, with the ensuing response reaching 47,000 people with emergency WASH and non-food assistance.

 

Results through 31 October 2013 unless noted. Due to the continuous deterioration of the situation some of the sector specific targets have been increased to reflect the emerging needs. For more information please refer to UNICEF Humanitarian Situation Reports (http://www.unicef.org/appeals/car_sitreps)

Funding requirements

Based on the country’s inter-agency 2014 Strategic Response Plan and increased needs, UNICEF is requesting US$81 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in CAR in 2014. Without sufficient funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s ongoing complex humanitarian and protection crisis. Health, non-food items, WASH and education supplies are urgently needed to uphold children’s rights to critical basic services. In a context of sudden emergencies with a high level of displacement due to violence and insecurity, rapid assessments and responses under the Rapid Response Mechanism are key to reducing vulnerabilities and reinforcing the humanitarian imperative.

1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Central African Republic: Situation Report’, no. 22, 23 April 2014.
2 Ibid.
3 United Nations Children's Fund, 'Central African Republic Situation Report', 4 December 2013.
4 Ibid.