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Map of Central African Republic
UNICEF photo: an infant girl sucks on her fist and looks at the camera © UNICEF CAR/2016/Le Du At the launch of the national polio vaccination campaign in Bouar in March 2016, mothers wait patiently to vaccinate their babies.

Central African Republic

In 2017, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children under 5 affected by SAM admitted for treatment


affected people and children under 5 access essential health services


crisis affected people provided with safe water

2017 Requirements: US$53,600,000

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Total people in need: 2.4 million
Total children (<18) in need: 1.2 million

Total people to be reached in 2017: 910,000
Total children to be reached in 2017: 650,000

The complex humanitarian and protection crisis affecting the Central African Republic (CAR) has drastically deteriorated in 2017. Half of the CAR population (2.4 million people) is in need of humanitarian assistance, including 1.2 million children1. Over 1.1 million people are currently displaced, either internally (600,000 people) or in neighbouring countries (500,000 people sought refuge in Cameroon, DRC, and Chad). An estimated 2.5 million people are moderately or severely food insecure (IPC 3)2, and more than 70 per cent of the country remains beyond the control or authority of the Government. The situation is particularly dire for children as 139 children of every 1,000 birth die before their fifth birthdays and half of all children are affected by stunting. The latest SMART3 survey estimates that 40,694 children (under five) will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2017. The six grave violations against children are witnessed continuously since 2012.4 Due to upsurge of violence, recruitment and use of children by armed groups has increased by 50 per cent in 2016. An estimated 5,000 children remain associated with armed groups. Due to insecurity, approximately one in four children are out of school.

Humanitarian strategy

2017 programme targets


  • 30,521 children under 5 affected by SAM admitted for treatment5


  • 500,000 affected people and children under 5 access essential health services


  • 600,000 crisis affected people provided with safe water
  • 350,000 crisis affected people provided with improved sanitation facilities

Child protection

  • 100,000 children receive appropriate psychosocial assistance
  • 3,500 children released from armed groups who benefit from a community reintegration programme
  • 1,000 separated and unaccompanied children reunified with their families


  • 75,000 children (3 – 17yrs) affected by crisis access education in TLS
  • 100,500 children (3 - 17yrs) attending school in a class led by a teacher trained in psychosocial support

Rapid Response Mechanism

  • 28,000 households receive NFI kits
  • 80,000 affected people receive WASH interventions

In 2017, UNICEF has prioritized life-saving interventions for crisis-affected and displaced population. Humanitarian needs have increased and UNICEF adapted its response strategy to reach populations on the move in an increasingly volatile and insecure environment. Through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) and together with Government partners and NGOs, UNICEF continues to provide access to basic social services and emergency supplies to the most vulnerable people. Negotiations for humanitarian access are increasingly challenging and affect timeliness of emergency response operations. UNICEF has prepositioned life-saving supplies in four zonal offices and with partners for a more rapid response. Although expensive but air transport is the only reliable and safe modality of supply delivery as road transport has become nearly impossible due to insecurity. UNICEF has maintained its focus on the serious protection needs of children, including their release from armed groups and reunification with their families, and provides the appropriate psychosocial support to vulnerable children. Out of school children affected by crisis have access to safe learning spaces and quality education. UNICEF leads the WASH, nutrition and education clusters, and the child protection sub-cluster, and works with line ministries to strengthen government capacity for humanitarian response. UNICEF continues to support education, nutrition, health, NFI and WASH core supply pipelines.

Results from 2017

As of 30 September, UNICEF has received 43 per cent of the funding against the US$ 53.6 million requested in the humanitarian appeal. For the same reporting period, UNICEF and partners screened over 140,000 children for malnutrition and over 16,500 were admitted for treatment of SAM with 91 per cent recovery rate. As the sole provider of therapeutic nutritional supplies, UNICEF needs continued funding to save children’s lives. More than 91,000 children (under 5) received essential health services and medicines and over 270,000 people have access to improved sources of water. With UNICEF and partners support over 52,500 children affected by crisis accessed education through Temporary Learning Spaces. End of the year exams were held with a pass rate of over 89 per cent. With large numbers of children still out of school, continued funding is needed to provide access to safe schools and quality education. More than 80,000 children have benefitted from psychosocial support and 1,694 children have been released from armed groups through UNICEF supported community reintegration programmes. Through RRMs UNICEF and partners reached nearly 53,000 affected people with WASH services and provided NFI assistance to over 22,000 affected vulnerable households.

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Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF has increased its funding requirement to US$53.6 million to meet the humanitarian and protection needs of children in the Central African Republic in 2017. Without sufficient funding, UNICEF will not be able to support the national humanitarian response to the country’s continuing crisis and provide critical life-saving services to internally displaced and conflict-affected people.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2017 Central African Republic Humanitarian Response Plan’, OCHA, 2017.
2 Food Assistance Outlook Fewsnet http://www.fews.net/sites/default/files/documents/reports/September%202017_Final%20FAOB.pdf
3 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, ‘République centraficaine – Actuelle – Analyse de la situation de l’insécurité alimentaire aiguë’, August 2016, www.ipcinfo.org/ipcinfo-detail-forms/ipcinfo-map-detail/en/c/445331/, accessed 4 January 2017.
4 CAAC report, 2016.
5 The country target is calculated on the basis of the 2014 national SMART survey and 2016-2017 Rapid SMART survey, which indicate a SAM prevalence of 1.9%. The estimated total burden of cases of SAM for 2017 is 40,694. UNICEF intends to reach at least 75% per cent of the SAM burden (30,521 children).
6 Cluster and UNICEF results are the same as UNICEF is the sole provider of therapeutic nutritional inputs in CAR for all partners.
7 Target increased as a result of increased needs in new hotspots.
8 Target increased as a result of increased needs in new hotspots.
9 Target revised to 1,000 because initial target of 300 reached.
10Target revised to 100,000 because initial target of 50,000 reached.
11 This is the revised HRP cluster target as per revised HRP. Although target has been reached it has not been revised further. Target will be increased in 2018 HRP.
12 Initial target of 2,000 reduced to 1,000 because total result as of end of September is 311 survivors far above the target of 2,000 planned initially.
13 Target increased as a result of increased needs in new hotspots and additional funding available.
14 Cluster target is higher than the HRP mid-yr revision due to increased capacity through additional funds received.
15 # of children calculated by # of teachers trained x 75 (average number of students taught by a teacher).
16 Target for Child Protection have increased however budget requirements remain the same as the current operational strategy of mobile Child Friendly Spaces can support an increased number of children with the same operational setup.