Humanitarian Action Report 2007 - Homepage

WCARO REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

CRITICAL ISSUES FOR CHILDREN

The Republic of the Congo is still suffering from the consequences of 10 years of armed conflict that have devastated infrastructure, ruined the economy and brought about massive suffering and population displacement. Despite progressive return to peace, the availability of basic social services of acceptable quality is very low and basic indicators related to children and women have deteriorated. DPT3 coverage is only 65.8 per cent nationally; 26 per cent of children are chronically malnourished; 58 per cent of the population have access to water of acceptable quality and only 7 per cent in urban areas and 2 per cent in rural areas are benefiting from improved latrines. Many health centres and primary schools lack clean water and sanitation facilities, leading to a high degree of water-borne diseases. Girls’ rape remains a common phenomenon, and gang-rape is spreading. Particularly worrying is the situation in the Pool Department, with a population of approximately 200,000 returnees since 2003. Insecurity is still high in this area, where an estimated 1,500 children remain armed and/or associated with armed groups. Sexual exploitation and violence are also widespread. Of additional concern is the situation of the indigenous population, living in the forested areas of the North-West, almost completely deprived of any human right and of access to basic social services.

PLANNED HUMANITARIAN ACTION FOR 2007

Health and nutrition: Benefiting 40,000 under-five children, 8,000 pregnant women and 7,800 women in post-partum in Pool Department, UNICEF will supply vaccines, impregnated mosquito nets, essential drugs, therapeutic and supplementary food and equipment for health centres; undertake routine and supplementary vaccination and procure malaria treatment; identify/treat moderately and severely malnourished children. In addition, 276,000 under-five children in Pool Department will benefit from an integrated package of interventions in the course of a measles campaign (vitamin A supplementation, de-worming, distribution of impregnated mosquito nets, and education on handwashing).

Water and environmental sanitation: Benefiting some 75,000 vulnerable persons in Pool Department, UNICEF will construct/rehabilitate 50 wells (equipped with India Mark handpumps); build 10 water reservoirs to catch rain water; build 50 ventilated improved pit latrines and organize handwashing points near them; sensitize and educate local population on hygiene; set up and train 50 water management committees; train 50 local artisans in pump maintenance and well chlorination.

Education: In partnership with UNESCO, UNICEF will train 250 volunteer teachers to provide primary education to 10,000 unschooled children and additional classes to 2,000 under-educated children; distribute school kits and schoolbooks to 12,000 children. In refugee camps and surrounding communities, UNICEF and UNESCO will train 5,000 teachers and trainers in basic education and life skills activities; increase children’s awareness about AIDS, hygiene and peace; procure sport equipment to 17,000 children; administer nutritional supplements and de-worming tablets to children in need.

Child protection: Benefiting 500 children and women victims of sexual violence, 50 children born out of rape and 20 social/health workers in Pool Department, UNICEF will undertake in-depth evaluation of scope/modalities of sexual violence; train social workers and health staff in medical and psychosocial care of victims of sexual violence; provide integrated interventions for victims’ care, treatment and psychosocial rehabilitation; put in place community-based mechanisms to prevent and fight against sexual violence; promote sensibilization campaigns against sexual and gender-based violence. In addition, benefiting 7,000 very vulnerable children from ethnic minorities, UNICEF will conduct an emergency situation analysis and develop programmes on survival and development of vulnerable children; undertake advocacy and social mobilization on sexual violence against minorities’ children and on lack of birth registration that prevents access to health services, primary education, legal protection and other basic human rights; develop a monitoring and evaluation mechanism to guarantee that assistance effectively reaches minorities’ children. Young people aged 10-24 years, women of childbearing age from Pool Department and Likouala and combatants and ex-combatants from Pool Department will benefit from behaviour change interventions on HIV/AIDS.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2007

Sector

US$

Health and nutrition

1,515,360

Water and environmental sanitation

1,005,312

Education

319,200

Child protection

1,147,440

Total*

3,987,312

* 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.