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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 with access to essential health services


internally displaced returnees and host community members provided with safe water

2017 Requirements: US$46,300,000

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Total people in need: 2.2 million
Total children (<18) in need: 1.1 million

Total people to be reached in 2017: 850,000
Total children to be reached in 2017: 600,0001

The complex humanitarian and protection crisis affecting the Central African Republic since 2012 is not yet over. More than seven months after President Touadera took office, the country continues to suffer from instability, with entire regions beyond the control or authority of the Government. In 2017, an estimated 2.2 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance, including 1.1 million children.2 Due to the ongoing conflict, at the end of 2016, an estimated 420,000 people were internally displaced and an additional 453,0003 persons had sought refuge in neighbouring countries. The situation remains dire for children: one in every two children is affected by stunting; some 139 children in every 1,000 born die before their fifth birthdays, and 880 women in every 100,000 die from pregnancy-related causes. An estimated 2 million people are in crisis and emergency food security phases and an estimated 39,000 children under 5 will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).4 Due to insecurity, children are only slowly returning to classrooms, with approximately one in three children out of school.

Humanitarian strategy

2017 programme targets


  • 29,585 children under 5 affected by SAM admitted for treatment6


  • 320,000 affected people and children under 5 with access to essential health services


  • 450,000 internally displaced returnees and host community members provided with safe water
  • 280,000 internally displaced persons, returnees and host community members provided with improved sanitation facilities

Child protection

  • 50,000 children receiving appropriate psychosocial assistance7
  • 3,500 children released from armed groups and receiving community reintegration
  • 2,000 survivors of sexual violence and abuse accessing holistic assistance


  • 50,000 children aged 3 to 17 affected by crisis accessing quality education
  • 65,000 children aged 3 to 17 affected by crisis receiving learning materials

Rapid Response Mechanism

  • 25,000 households receiving NFI kits8
  • 60,000 affected people receiving appropriate WASH interventions after a shock

In 2017,5 UNICEF will prioritize life-saving interventions and risk reduction for crisis-affected, displaced and returning people in the Central African Republic. Capacity building and preparedness activities will be reinforced. UNICEF will tackle preventable childhood illnesses, malaria, HIV and malnutrition, and will provide people with access to safe water and improved sanitation. UNICEF will focus on the serious protection needs of children, including their release from armed groups and their reunification with families when separated or unaccompanied, and will provide the appropriate psychosocial support to vulnerable children. Children who are out of school due to crisis will gain access to safe learning spaces and quality education. The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) will provide non-food items (NFIs) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support to vulnerable people in remote areas. UNICEF leads the WASH, nutrition and education clusters, as well as the child protection sub-cluster, and will work with line ministries to strengthen government capacity for humanitarian coordination, leadership and response. UNICEF also plays a strong role in health programming and will continue to support education, nutrition, health and WASH core supply pipelines.

Results from 2016

As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$31.3 million against the US$55.7 million humanitarian appeal (56 per cent funded).9 In 2016, UNICEF and partners delivered life-saving interventions to affected populations. Nearly 170,000 children gained access to basic health services and medicines. Nearly 21,000 children with SAM received treatment. Some 422,000 people gained improved access to safe water and more than 78,000 internally displaced persons accessed improved sanitation, with displaced and host communities participating in water committees to foster social cohesion. More than 56,000 children in displaced and host communities received psychosocial support. Some 1,695 survivors of sexual violence and abuse accessed holistic assistance. More than 3,700 children have been released from armed groups and received interim care.10 Safe and protective learning environments were provided to nearly 41,000 children through temporary learning spaces and about 51,000 children received learning/recreational materials in areas affected by the ongoing crisis. The RRM provided emergency WASH assistance to nearly 50,000 people and NFI kits to over 23,000 households following sudden shocks. The RRM also assisted 13,000 people in response to a cholera outbreak in Bangui region. The cholera response was an entry point to reaching affected areas through sensitization and social mobilization on hygiene, which UNICEF followed with the construction of durable water points and initiation of community-led total sanitation.

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Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$46.3 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 The total number of people/children to be reached is lower than in last year's Humanitarian Action for Children appeal, as UNICEF’s planned activities and beneficiaries were based on estimations for the Plan National de Relevement et Consolidation de la Paix over the next two to three years (2017-2021).
2 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2017 Central African Republic Humanitarian Needs Overview’, OCHA, 2017.
3 The Commission Mouvement Population is the official agency for data on internally displaced persons in the Central African Republic. As of 31 October 2016, the number of internally displaced persons was 420,681. Note that a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced persons was registered as a result of the crises in the northwest and centre of the country since September 2016.
4 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.
5 Although the Humanitarian Response Plan for the Central African Republic is a multi-year document, it has been set up with a strategy, cluster needs assessment, targets and funding requirements for one year. This Humanitarian Action for Children appeal is aligned to that duration.
6 The country target is calculated on the basis of the SMART survey results, which point to a SAM prevalence of 1.9 per cent. The total burden of cases of SAM for 2017 is estimated to be 39,446. In its Humanitarian Action for Children response, UNICEF Central African Republic intends to reach at least 75 per cent of the SAM burden, or 29,585 children with SAM.
7 Target has decreased from 2016 due to an improved general security situation, which has resulted in increased access to schools, which in turn means fewer internally displaced persons/sites and a decreased need for recreational spaces for children.
8 The 2017 target is reduced as the number of partners included in the RRM has been reduced from four to three due to decreased needs in the area covered by the partner in question.
9 Available funds included funding received against the current appeal of US$20 million and US$11.3 million carried forward from the previous year.
10 Figures as of 30 November.