Map of Central African Republic
UNICEF photo © UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1826/Bindra

Central African Republic

UNICEF is requesting US$70.9 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in CAR in 2015.

In 2015, UNICEF and partners plan for:
1.2 million

people access basic health services and medicines


children released from armed forces and groups and have access to alternative education opportunities


highly vulnerable households in very remote areas assisted with WASH and non-food items interventions

2015 Requirements: US$70,900,000

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Total affected population: 4.8 million
Total affected children: 2.4 million

Total people to be reached in 2015: 2 million
Total children to be reached in 2015: 1.4 million

The Central African Republic (CAR) has been affected by a complex humanitarian and protection crisis since December 2012. In early 2015, at the Bangui Forum, all armed groups committed to free and fair elections and the creation of a new government. Presidential and legislative elections are scheduled for October/November 2015. A small number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have begun to return home but, despite these positive signs, the situation remains fragile and humanitarian needs are dire with over 4.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.4 million of whom are children. Food insecurity has emerged as a growing concern, with children at an increased risk of malnutrition. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report of 2015 estimates that over 1.2 million people in CAR will face serious food insecurity1. Children are bearing the brunt of the crisis, facing limited access to basic social services and serious protection concerns. Due to the deterioration of security, less than 50 per cent of the country’s health workers are in their posts and extensive looting of medical supplies has contributed to the breakdown of the health system. While children have begun to return to their classrooms, the enrolment rate (31 per cent) is still 6.5 per cent below the pre-crisis enrolment level of 2011-20122. Child protection remains a key priority for UNICEF in responding to the humanitarian situation in CAR. Insecurity and lawlessness throughout the country has resulted in children being displaced, separated, maimed, abducted, killed and raped, with women and girls being increasingly vulnerable to sexual violence and other forms of gender based violence. UNICEF is anticipating the possible release of thousands of children as a result of the recently signed agreement by armed groups.

Humanitarian strategy (July to December 2015)

Revised 2015 Programme Targets


  • 26,889 children under 5 affected by SAM admitted for treatment


  • 250,000 children under 5 immunized against measles in IDPs sites and epidemic districts
  • 1,171,400 million people access to basic health services and medicines


  • 450,000 affected people have access to safe, reliable water in sufficient quantity
  • 250,000 internally displaced persons and returnees have access to improved sanitation

Child Protection

  • 4,000 children released from armed forces and groups and have access to alternative education opportunities
  • 3,000 women and children identified as survivors of sexual violence have access to holistic support
  • 200,000 displaced and vulnerable children participate in psychosocial activities


  • 60,000 displaced children 3 to 17 years access relevant education opportunities
  • 300,000 children receive learning and playing materials


  • 3,569 children born to mothers living with HIV receive appropriate treatment

Rapid Response Mechanism

  • 40,000 highly vulnerable households in very remote areas assisted with WASH and non-food items interventions

UNICEF is the cluster-lead for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as for nutrition, education, and child protection. UNICEF also plays a critical role with the World Health Organisation for health programming. The focus of the emergency programme will be life-saving interventions to address vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases, malaria, HIV, malnutrition, as well as the reduction of risks faced by displaced populations, including access to health facilities, and water and sanitation. The UNICEF-coordinated Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) will provide non-food items, as well as safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, to at least 200,000 highly vulnerable people in very remote areas. The RRM will continue to advocate for a multi-sectoral response in the hard-to-reach areas. UNICEF will continue its efforts to identify and release all children associated with armed groups, and facilitate the reunification of these children with their families and their reintegration, through the alternative education strategy, for out-of-school children. UNICEF remains committed to providing access to safe schools and quality education for pre-primary and primary students. Monitoring and reporting of grave child rights violations will continue to be supported. UNICEF has been providing immediate and ongoing care and support including medical, psychosocial, and legal support, and is closely monitoring the situation of all cases, and their families. UNICEF programmes will include social cohesion aspects into their programme design and delivery to begin the healing of communities, which have split along ethnic and religious lines during the conflict.

Results to date (1 January to 30 June 2015)

As of 30 June, UNICEF has received approximately US$45.3 million (which includes US$10.3 million carry-forward from 2014) against the US$70.9 million revised funding requested for 2015.

UNICEF has strengthened its field presence and capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance in a timely manner. Technical specialists in health, nutrition, WASH and child protection have been deployed to ensure programme delivery to the most vulnerable people. Enhanced logistics capacity has led to an increased capacity to deliver medical supplies, shelter, water-purification and education materials to fragile communities.

During the first-half of 2015, UNICEF and its partners focused on delivering life-saving interventions including nutrition, immunizations, essential medicines, safe drinking water and emergency basic household materials. Over 728,000 people in need of assistance were able to access basic health services and medicines. A total of 12,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were treated with therapeutic food. The RRM has informed emergency responses in the health and nutrition sectors. Nearly 139,000 people now have improved access to basic sanitation and over 151,000 people have access to clean drinking water. The RRM provided emergency WASH and non-food items (NFIs) to nearly 27,000 households and also provided the humanitarian community with a total of 107 alerts on humanitarian situations requiring rapid response. While improving access to health facilities, UNICEF also supported measles vaccinations for over 16,000 IDP children in humanitarian situations and vitamin A campaigns for over 91,000 children under five. A routine, national measles follow-up campaign is planned for mid-October 2015, which will target 95 per cent of the 6 months to 10 years age group in CAR, reaching a total of 1,632,100 children.

On 5 May 2015, following extensive advocacy by UNICEF, all armed groups signed an agreement to release children and to stop future recruitment. In a highly insecure environment, child protection programmes continue to be scaled-up: nearly 1,600 children were released from armed groups; nearly 129,000 children benefitted from recreational activities and psychosocial support; and 540 survivors of sexual violence received assistance. In an effort to support students’ return to classrooms, almost 37,000 children attended classes in temporary learning spaces, and over 233,000 children received learning materials.

Funding requirements

UNICEF’s funding requirement for CAR has been revised downwards from US$73.9 million to US$70.9 million. Without sufficient funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s ongoing complex humanitarian and protection crisis. Children in CAR are in critical need of physical and psychosocial protection. Health, non-food items, WASH and education supplies are also urgently needed to maintain children’s rights to critical basic services. In this volatile environment, with a high level of displacement resulting from violence and insecurity, rapid assessments and responses under the Rapid Response Mechanism are critical for reducing vulnerabilities and reinforcing the humanitarian imperative.


1 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), April 2015.
2 According to the Education Cluster assessment on the state of education in CAR, April 2015.