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WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA Central African Republic

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1506/Holtz

Sisters queue to be immunized against measles at a hospital in Bossangoa. It is estimated that at least one quarter of the population of the Central African Republic has been affected by the country’s conflict.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

The Central African Republic continues to suffer from years of conflict, which has impacted the lives of thousands of people, mainly in the northern regions of the country. It is estimated that at least a quarter of the population has been affected by the conflict. As of May 2009, there were approximately 122,600 displaced persons, 91,800 returnees and some 128,500 Central African Republic refugees residing in neighbouring countries, mainly in Cameroon and Chad. Delivering assistance to the northern area remains problematic due to road bandits and clashes between armed groups and government forces. Other challenges are frequent outbreaks of epidemic diseases (mainly in the north), rising prices of food and other essential commodities and limited resources to meet humanitarian needs.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

In 2010, while continuing its life-saving and immediate response in the northern zones affected by the conflict, UNICEF with the Government of the Central African Republic, NGO partners and other United Nations agencies, will respond to the humanitarian needs of more than 600,000 people in the conflict areas, including 240,000 children and those affected by malnutrition in the south-west region. The focus will be on ensuring access to health and nutrition, safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene, as well as creating child-friendly learning spaces, access to education and a protective environment for children. UNICEF is also working to ensure that the capacity for emergency preparedness for rapid response is addressed.  Following are the expected results of UNICEF emergency interventions:

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will ensure effective Nutrition Cluster coordination and support the development of nutrition surveillance of children under five in hard-to-reach areas and malnutrition-prone zones. Essential health-care services and therapeutic feeding programmes, including outpatient feeding and community-based case management, will also be supported by UNICEF and partners at 55 health centres in the affected areas.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Adequate access to safe water and basic sanitation facilities will be available for up to 120,000 people through the construction of  new water points and improved family latrines, and the rehabilitation of 300 existing water points, including in schools and health centres. The UNICEF-led WASH Cluster will also promote hygiene practices and emergency preparedness.

Education: UNICEF will ensure that 240,000 children continue to attend school in crisis-affected areas in an environment conducive to quality learning through training of teachers and caregivers, provision of school kits, Early Childhood Development kits and textbooks, and improvements in school supervision.

Child Protection: Psychosocial and education support services will be provided for 40,000 vulnerable children in rebel-controlled areas through the creation of at least 20 new child-friendly spaces. Negotiation is ongoing for the release of nearly 500 children currently associated with armed groups or forces, who, along with 1,500 children formerly associated with armed conflict, will have access to reintegration services.

HIV/AIDS: UNICEF and partners will strengthen vulnerable communities’ ability to reduce their risk of  exposure to HIV infection in emergency zones. This will include the development behaviour change communications on HIV prevention, care and treatment, which will be aimed at more than 200,000 children, adolescents, women and communities via schools, youth centres and health facilities.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Health 3,929,415
Nutrition 2,332,600
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 1,003,125
Education 500,000
Child Protection 3,375,850
HIV/AIDS 299,600
Shelter/Non-food Items 877,000
Total 12,317,590