Countries | Pays

Countries of West and Central Africa

Pays de l'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre

 

UNICEF Central African Republic

© UNICEF CAR / Pirozzi

The Central African Republic’s history since independence from France in 1960 has been marked by brutal dictatorship, revolts and coups. In recent years, the country's north has increasingly fallen prey to armed groups as President Francois Bozize's government has battled rebel factions resulting in displacement of more than 300,000 people and near-complete decimation of infrastructure.

Current figures estimate that 1 million people in CAR have been affected by conflict, of whom 108,000 fled into neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Sudan and 197,000 are internally displaced. In return CAR has received thousands of refugees from the neighboring conflicts in Sudan and Chad. 

In recent months CAR has been hit by an upsurge in attacks by armed bandits locally known as Zaraguinas or Coupeur de Route. These bandits roam the northern areas of CAR, assaulting and killing travelers and villagers, kidnapping children and adults, looting property and burning homes. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that of the 300,000 forced from their homes in the past several years due to the ongoing conflict, up to a third fled from bandits.

Located right at the heart of the African continent, CAR is suffering from a multifaceted crisis of ongoing waves of violence coupled with steep poverty. The conditions on the ground are having a significant impact on the lives of women and children.

Despite significant improvements over the past few years the situation continues to be of great concern to UNICEF. The infant mortality rate stands at 132 per 1,000. The maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world with 1,102 per 100,000.

An estimated 38% of the country’s under-5s suffer from Global Chronic Malnutrition, a further 10% suffer from the Global Acute variety. In addition, the HIV prevalence rate (6.2%) is the highest in the region.  More than 75% of the population is without access to adequate sanitation facilities. Less than 52% of children get the opportunity to attend primary school.

UNICEF is continuing to work closely with its partner agencies in order to improve these indicators in an effort to enhance human welfare across CAR.

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State of Africa's Children 2008

La Siuation des enfants en Afrique| State of Africa's Children

UNICEF in West and Central Africa | UNICEF en Afrique de l'ouest et du centre

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