Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- The Republic of Congo (RoC) continues to be confronted with a multitude of complex humanitarian emergencies, leaving approximately 1.5 million people (including 720,000 children) in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. This situation is further aggravated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which puts 3.2 million people at risk of infection.
- UNICEF RoC will continue to support and provide humanitarian assistance to crisis-affected populations within the current COVID-19 pandemic context. In 2022, UNICEF aimsto reach 203,259 people with critical WASH supplies; 218,432 children and women with access to primary health care; more than 500,000 people with COVID-19 infection and prevention control interventions; and will undertake cross-sectoral activities focused on child protection, gender equality, gender-based violence in emergency situations. (GBViE, and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA).
- The present appeal aims to mobilize US$12.1 million 4 to respond to the immediate and critical needs of crisis affected populations, with special focus in WASH, health, nutrition and education services and supplies.
Key planned results for 2022
31,736 children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition
218,432 children and women accessing health care
203,259 people reached with critical WASH supplies
99,250 children accessing educational services
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
The humanitarian situation in RoC is characterized by the presence of around 227,000 refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons, including 150,000 existing and new refugees from Central African Republic and Democratic Republic of Congo and 77,000 internally displaced persons due to the 2016 conflict in the Pool region. In addition, 500,000 people live in high-risk Ebola virus infection areas along the Ubangi and Congo rivers bordering DRC.
The Likouala region alone hosts 27,000 refugees and asylum seekers, of which 16,761 are based in Bétou, Mounguengui and Moualé. The northern part of the country, which shares the river border with DRC, has experienced recurrent floods since 2019, affecting around 170,000 people every year, causing loss of lives, livestock, crops, household income, infrastructure and transport disruption, among others. The humanitarian context is exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted communities and caused the closure of educational institutions between March and October 2020 affecting 1,474,372 students. This has contributed to issues related to access to education and other socioeconomic problems, such as increased rates of school dropouts, an increase in gender-based violence, a disruption of support to survivors in psycho-medical care centers, and increased vulnerabilities for children and women. In addition, access to safe water and sanitation services remains scarce. Only 20 per cent of households have access to basic sanitation and 74 per cent to protected water sources. Infection prevention and control practices remain a challenge, jeopardized by the lack of adequate WASH services in healthcare facilities, in a context where only one health centre out of three has access to safe water. The situation is also alarming in schools, with 56 per cent having no water service.
The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) remains high and it is estimated that 31,736 children aged 6 to 59 months suffer from SAM. This is further aggravated by the lack of timely access to quality primary health care, key recommended immunizations and appropriate channels to refer and treat SAM. In addition, there are disparities in terms of access to public services, with rural areas receiving fewer public services than the two largest cities of Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.
Out of the 1.5 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, 48 per cent are children facing enormous challenges in terms of access to basic social services.
In RoC, UNICEF will address immediate and critical life-saving needs of vulnerable individuals, households, internally displaced people, refugees and host communities that have been severely affected by emergency situations mainly in the Likouala, Cuvette, Sangha, Plateaux and Pool regions.
The UNICEF response will be guided by three key strategies: (1) support for timely and effective implementation of humanitarian interventions based on a multi-sectoral integrated package of services (health, nutrition, WASH, education, protection, GBViE and C4D/RCCE), especially for children under the age of 5 years, pregnant/lactating women and school-aged children (6 to 17 years); (2) in collaboration with the government and key humanitarian actors, procure emergency relief items to support the provision of key primary healthcare services, including immunization, SAM treatment, education and protection services, and access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene; (3) capacity building of implementing partners, government officials and key stakeholders, to improve the functionality, performance and service delivery of institutions.
UNICEF will continue to prioritize these interventions: support for the implementation of integrated comprehensive primary health care and nutrition services for women, children and vulnerable host populations, including antenatal care, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, immunization activities, nutritional screening for SAM detection and management, integrated management of childhood illnesses for remote unreached children through mobile clinics, and support for WASH services in health centres to reinforce infection and prevention control practices.
UNICEF will support communities in the promotion and adoption of key hygiene and sanitation practices and with access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene. UNICEF will support children in emergency situations with access to education services, including the provision of learning materials. UNICEF will also promote community engagement actions that contribute to social and behavioral change and will pilot humanitarian cash transfers to enable communities' access to services with dignity and autonomy.
UNICEF will continue to strengthen emergency preparedness plans for standing capacity to respond within three to seven days of an onset of humanitarian situations, including disease and outbreaks.
UNICEF, as the lead agency for nutrition, WASH, child protection and education, will continue to support the government to lead and coordinate sectors, along with humanitarian partners, to ensure that interventions and efforts are coordinated and effective and that gender equality and protection issues are taken into consideration throughout the implementation of the humanitarian assistance.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in the Congo; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.