Humanitarian Action for Children 2012

WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA Central African Republic

© UNICEF/NYHQ2011-0801/Grarup

A baby girl is treated for malaria, in a hospital in Haut Mbomou Prefecture. Conflict has affected all aspects of the country’s daily life, destroying infrastructure, disrupting health and education services and displacing 192,000 people.

Update: CAP Mid-Year Review


Children and Women in Crisis

The Central African Republic is beset by an ongoing conflict among the army, national groups and foreign armed groups, which destabilizes the environment in which women and children live. Some 192,000 people, of which at least half are children, are currently internally displaced.1 The conflict’s humanitarian impact is evident in all aspects of daily life. The destruction of infrastructure has hampered access to basic health and education services. School enrolment rates are as low as 46 per cent in conflict-affected regions,2 while an estimated 1,500 children have been recruited by armed groups.3 A recent national survey revealed that 40.7 per cent of children under 5 are stunted and 7.4 per cent suffer from moderate or severe acute malnutrition.4 In October 2011, a health emergency arose in when a cholera outbreak struck south of the capital, with 94 cases and 15 deaths reported.5

Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012

In 2012, UNICEF will serve as cluster lead for nutrition, WASH and education in order to ensure coordinated emergency preparedness and an effective response at national and sub-national levels. UNICEF, along with the Government of the Central African Republic, NGOs and other UN agencies, intends to provide humanitarian assistance to reduce the vulnerabilities of 600,000 conflict-affected people, including 294,000 children.

Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011

In 2011, UNICEF estimated that US$11,763,000 was needed to fund its humanitarian work in the Central African Republic. As of end October 2011, a total of US$5,857,564 – or 50 per cent – had been received. UNICEF achieved key results for women and children, including the following: UNICEF’s education projects enabled nearly 160,000 children in conflict-affected areas, including 62,000 girls, to newly enrol in primary school (more than the planned figure of 150,000 children). At least 20 schools and 30 health facilities benefited from new boreholes and sanitation facilities that provide access to clean water and sanitation. Child protection projects assisted 100 per cent of a planned goal of 1,000 children associated with armed groups and also reinforced monitoring and reporting mechanisms. To reduce mortality rates for close to 74,000 pregnant women and nearly 320,000 children under 5, UNICEF provided essential drugs for high-impact health and nutrition services. UNICEF also administered polio vaccines, vitamin A supplementation and deworming tablets to 756,000 children under 5 and measles vaccines to about 500,000 children.

Funding Requirements for 2012

UNICEF is requesting US$11,018,000 to support an integrated response for the crisis in the Central African Republic. To provide for basic needs and to realize the rights of children and women affected by the country’s ongoing conflict, adequate funding across all sectors is crucial. UNICEF has aligned this request with the 2012 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements. 

More information on humanitarian action planned for 2012 can be found at

1 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, ‘Central African Republic: New displacement due to ongoing conflict and banditry’, IDMC, Geneva, 1 December 2010, p. 24,$file/CAR+-+Dec+2010.pdf, accessed 15 November 2011. 
2 Central African Republic Ministry of Education, ‘Annual Education Statistics 2010–2011’, Ministry of Education, Bangui, Central African Republic, p.32.
3 Danish Refugee Council, ‘Evaluation Mission of the Situation of Children in Community Self-Defense Groups’, Danish Refugee Council, Copenhagen, May 2011, p. 3.
4 Central African Institute for Statistics and Socioeconomic Research, ‘Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys – Round 4: Preliminary results’, Bangui, Central African Republic, May 2011, p. 2.
5 United Nations Children's Fund, 'Cholera Cases in the Central African Republic: Week 40', UNICEF Central African Republic, Bangui, 12 October 2011.