Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

WCARO CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

The humanitarian crisis in Africa’s most forgotten nation persists after a decade of armed conflict, the impact of crises in Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur and Southern Sudan, a difficult institutional environment and very low international presence. More than 1 million people are highly vulnerable due to disease, malnutrition and insecurity, while some 200,000 people are displaced. There is a desperate need for protection, basic health, nutrition, water and sanitation, education and food/non-food aid. Widespread human rights violations continue, indicators have deteriorated, life expectancy has decreased and the percentage of people living below the poverty threshold has risen from 63 to 71 per cent since 1993. The HIV prevalence rate is the highest in Central and West Africa at 15 per cent, which has resulted in 140,000 orphans, 24,000 HIV-positive children and 6,000 orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) living in the streets.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Health and nutrition: As part of the expanded programme on immunization (EPI), UNICEF will support local measles and maternal/neonatal tetanus campaigns, organize outreach to boost routine EPI coverage, set up a monitoring system and support communication activities. As part of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness initiative, UNICEF will promote health/nutrition and feeding practices as well as community-based management of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea; distribute long-lasting insecticidal nets; administer vitamin A supplements and de-worming tablets; and strengthen primary health care services through training and provision of essential drugs. Benefiting 98,000 pregnant women and their newborns, UNICEF will provide a family- and community-based intervention package of social mobilization, prevention of infections, hypothermia and asphyxia; train on detection of newborn danger signs and breastfeeding problems; promote breastfeeding and ‘making pregnancy safer’ strategy. In nutrition, UNICEF will support 5 therapeutic and 30 supplementary feeding centres; reinforce national capacities on status assessment and monitoring and support community-based activities. In HIV/AIDS, UNICEF will undertake risk mapping and adopt the life skills approach; develop advocacy and communication for behaviour change; and strengthen health services’ capacities to deal with sexually transmitted infections/HIV/AIDS.

Water and environmental sanitation: UNICEF will construct at least 50 new water points with handpumps in schools; rehabilitate 600 water and sanitation facilities for 175,000 displaced people and returnees; support water point management and latrinization of 6,000 households; intensify hygiene education campaigns at schools and households; provide family emergency kits; strengthen water system management capacities; foster coordination for emergency preparedness in the sector.

Education: UNICEF will map existing school facilities and equipment within conflict zones; mobilize/sensitize communities to undertake school rehabilitation and re-opening; provide support for the rehabilitation of 74 classrooms; procure and distribute recreation/basic school kits to 74 schools, 1,267 primary schoolteachers and 88,868 pupils; train 1,267 teachers on pedagogic skills and competencies, with emphasis on HIV/AIDS and peace education; construct 30 temporary school/classroom structures for 88,868 primary schoolchildren.

Child protection: UNICEF will assess, analyse and establish/strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms on human rights violations: train military and rebels on children’s and women’s rights; reinforce capacities of 20 NGOs for access of OVC to basic social services; train 100 social workers on home-based care and psychosocial follow-up; help design and implement the first national action plan on OVC; elaborate mapping of beneficiaries and children affected by conflict; create a database on street children and abandoned children; assist birth registration system needs assessment; support reconstruction of  51 destroyed registrars’ offices and provide supplies; help the judiciary system ensure free and compulsory birth registration and support free registration for OVC; train 300 registration agents, officials and key actors.

Non-food items/shelter: UNICEF will assess and upgrade temporary settlements and affected communities; pre-position basic emergency non-food items (NFIs) buffer stock for 25,000 people; ensure regular delivery of NFIs and seasonal input for 65,000 vulnerable people.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Health and nutrition

6,967,485

Water and environmental sanitation

2,167,000

Education

2,641,295

Child protection

711,240

Non-food items/shelter

775,750

Total

13,262,770

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.