WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA Central African Republic
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.
- Therapeutic food and drugs will be provided to treat 8,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition – approximately 80 per cent of the estimated total.
- UNICEF will help 60 per cent of health facilities in conflict-affected areas obtain functional paediatric units with trained staff, necessary supplies and essential drugs. The organization will also support 65 health centres in acquiring emergency obstetric and neonatal care.
- In response to the October cholera outbreak, UNICEF will build or rehabilitate water points and gender-friendly latrines in schools and health centres for 50,000 children and women.
- UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and cluster partners, will establish at least 80 child-friendly schools and 9 early childhood development activities in safe environments to benefit some 40,000 children in order to increase enrolment rates by at least 10 per cent for girls and 5 per cent for boys.
- Approximately 45,000 children affected by the conflict, including those associated with armed groups, vulnerable children and children without parental care, as well as 3,000 victims of sexual violence will receive assistance through a tailored reintegration and rehabilitation package providing medical care and psychological, educational and socio-economic reintegration support.
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$11,018,000 to support an integrated response for the crisis in the Central African Republic. To provide for basic needs and to realize the rights of children and women affected by the country’s ongoing conflict, adequate funding across all sectors is crucial. UNICEF has aligned this request with the 2012 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements.
More information on humanitarian action planned for 2012 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2012.
1 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, ‘Central African Republic: New displacement due to ongoing conflict and banditry’, IDMC, Geneva, 1 December 2010, p. 24, www.internal-displacement.org/8025708F004BE3B1/(httpInfoFiles)/95AEC93671A035E7C12577EC003BE9EE/$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.