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Map of Republic of Congo
UNICEF photo: two girls sitting on a blue plastic chair together © UNICEF Republic of Congo/2017/Jean Marie Samuel Ouenabio Two displaced girls from Pool Department in Kimouanda village, Bouenza Department, Republic of Congo.

Republic of Congo

In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:
20,710

children aged 6 to 59 months vaccinated against measles

27,000

out-of-school boys and girls aged 3 to 17 years affected by crisis accessing formal or non-formal basic education

350,000

people reached with key life-saving and behaviour change messages on Ebola prevention

2019 requirements: US$12,427,631

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Snapshot

Total people in need: 862,5726
Total children (<18) in need: 383,9287

Total people to be reached: 586,0008
Total children to be reached: 205,5009

The emergency and early recovery needs of returnees and host populations in the Republic of Congo remain critical in areas that have been cut off from humanitarian assistance over the past two years due to insecurity. As of 30 September 2018, more than 15,000 children aged 3 to 17 years are out of school and 118 schools have closed due to extensive damage to school infrastructure and the limited availability of teachers.1 Access to water and sanitation services is low, including in health facilities and schools, and the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector remains underfunded. Prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is above the emergency threshold, malnutrition is indirectly responsible for 52 per cent of all child deaths and an estimated 74,000 children under 5 years will suffer from SAM in 2019.2 In addition, Likouala Department is hosting over 33,000 refugees from the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who are in urgent need of assistance, including education, WASH and child protection services.3 An Ebola Virus Disease preparedness plan has been developed for the border fluvial corridor to prevent the disease from spreading from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 48,988 children aged 6 to 59 months with SAM admitted for treatment
  • 143,522 caregivers of children aged 0 to 23 months reached with IYCF counselling

Health

  • 20,710 children aged 6 to 59 months vaccinated against measles
  • 32,275 people received two insecticide-treated mosquito nets as per international standards

WASH

  • 79,500 people accessing the agreed quantity of water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 69,200 people accessing appropriate sanitation facilities

Child protection

  • 4,900 children reached with psychosocial support services, including child-friendly spaces

Education

  • 27,000 out-of-school boys and girls aged 3 to 17 years affected by crisis accessing formal or non-formal basic education
  • 27,000 children aged 6 to 17 years receiving individual education/early learning materials

Communication for development

  • 350,000 people reached with key life-saving and behaviour change messages on Ebola prevention

In 2019, UNICEF will continue to strengthen its integrated, multi-sectoral response for refugees and vulnerable populations in the Republic of Congo. UNICEF will also reinforce Ebola preparedness, focusing on the border fluvial corridor and the land departments4 where needs and vulnerabilities are most acute. Access to nutrition services will be expanded for children aged 6 to 59 months with SAM (an estimated 74,000 in 2019). This will be done by strengthening nutritional screening, using therapeutic foods in SAM treatment, providing infant and young child feeding (IYCF) promotion and counselling to pregnant and lactating women and supporting and reinforcing health system capacities. Access to WASH services will be improved in Pool and Likouala departments through the construction and rehabilitation of water supply systems and sanitation facilities, including in schools and health facilities. UNICEF will increase children’s access to formal education services at the primary and secondary levels by rebuilding damaged schools, setting up temporary learning spaces and providing learning materials. Child protection services will include psychosocial support and recreational activities. UNICEF will continue to lead the nutrition, WASH, education and child protection sectors, while working with the Government to build capacities to strengthen the nexus between humanitarian action and development programmes.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF Congo had US$3.2 million available against the US$7.7 million appeal (41 per cent funded).5 Funding gaps constrained the achievement of results, especially in the Pool Department, where access to water and sanitation facilities and children’s access to school and protection services remain critical. While the nutrition sector was over-funded, targets were not met because the funds only became available in September/October 2018, and have been integrated into the 2019 appeal. UNICEF and partners responded to the refugee situation in Likouala region, reaching nearly 17,000 people with key messages on the right to education. In addition, as part of the educational support approach, 60 teachers from refugee-hosting schools were trained to improve learning outcomes for children below the expected primary and secondary education levels. A total of 1,350 primary school children improved their educational outcomes as a result. Some 1,200 children received protection services through community mechanisms such as child-friendly spaces and formal service delivery mechanisms. While UNICEF coordinates the implementation of the joint communication plan on Ebola Virus Disease preparedness at the community level, targeting 350,000 beneficiaries, these activities only began at the end of 2018, and results are not yet available.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$12.4 million to meet the humanitarian needs of affected women and children in the Republic of Congo. With sufficient funding, UNICEF will be able to support the national humanitarian response to the country’s continuing crisis by providing critical life-saving services to Likouala refugees, Pool returnees and host populations, and contributing to the reduction of the national mortality and morbidity rates associated with acute malnutrition among children under 5 years. This funding will also contribute to reinforcing country capacities to prevent and detect any potential cases of Ebola in a coordinated and timely manner.

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1 Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Pool schools report, 25 September 2018.
2 This figure is a 2019 projection of a 2.6 national SAM prevalence rate. United Nations Children’s Fund, Republic of Congo Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014-2015.
3 The figure for refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is from the yet to be released United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Congo Republic Regional Response Plan 2019-2020. For refugees from the Central African Republic, the figure is based on 2018 UNHCR Congo Republic data.
4 These land departments are Likouala, Cuvette, Plateaux, Pool, Brazzaville and Bouenza.
5 Available funds include US$2.9 million received against the current appeal and US$266,918 carried forward from the previous year. In addition to the available funds, UNICEF allocated US$408,700 to the response from its core resources.
6 This figure includes the population of returnees and host communities in Pool Department, people (including refugees) at risk due to Ebola and the caseload for malnutrition in pregnant women and children under 5 years in other geographic areas.
7 This figure includes the child population (47 per cent) within the population of returnees and host communities in Pool Department, people (including refugees) at risk due to Ebola and the caseload for malnutrition among children under 5 years in other geographic areas.
8 This figure includes the nutrition targets for SAM and IYCF plus the measles vaccination target (different geographical focus from nutrition interventions) plus the education target (different age cohort) and Ebola Virus Disease communication for development target (different geographical focus).
9 This figure includes the targets for SAM, measles and education for children, plus 31 per cent (children aged 5 to 17 years) of the Ebola Virus Disease communication for development target. These targets have different geographical focuses and age cohorts of children.
10 Ebola Virus Disease preparedness plan.