© UNICEF/HQ06-2583/Kamber

Acute malnutrition is one price paid by small children for conflict in Central African Republic. In the north-western town of Ndim, villagers have been unable to tend their crops, often fleeing into the bush to escape attacks.


At the onset of 2008, the situation of women and children in the northern prefectures of the Central African Republic remains grave. The ongoing conflict, combined with a surge in ‘Coupeurs de route’ attacks across the north-west, has led to continued displacement. Some 610,000 women and children are currently affected by the conflict and 212,000 people can be classed as internally displaced. In many cases, these individuals are living in the bush and completely lack access to basic rights and services. This is having a significant impact on national child survival and development. Despite improvement over the past year, one in five children dies before his/her fifth birthday and infant and maternal mortality rates are amongst the highest of the continent. One third of people completely lack access to safe water and only half of the population’s children enrol in primary school. Child soldiers continue to be used by rebel factions. Human rights violations, including the kidnapping of children, continue to be prevalent, particularly in the north-western prefectures.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, non-food items and education. UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 1.5 million children in 2008.

Health and nutrition: UNICEF will provide a high-impact health and nutritional package to 468,479 children; vaccinate these children as well as 63,452 women; strengthen emergency obstetric and neonatal care, thus benefiting 812,397 women; provide at least 3,000 gender-based violence (GBV) survivors with specialist medical/psychosocial and community-based support; target 1,035,962 adolescents with UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS prevention programme.

Water, sanitation and hygiene: UNICEF will provide hygiene support and training to a total of 14,000 children, in addition to the 25,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who will receive improved water and sanitation facilities and services. UNICEF will aim to enhance governmental capacity, improving their ability to deal with the ongoing conflict and the current lack of water and sanitation facilities across the country.

Education: UNICEF will improve access to basic education for 113,000 conflict-affected children, through an extensive ‘Back to School’ campaign in the northern prefectures.

Child protection: UNICEF will facilitate the reintegration of 1,000 child soldiers into their families and communities and reach 40,000 children with actions that will strengthen local community protection and sensitization mechanisms. UNICEF will also ensure better access to protection and social services for 110,000 orphans and especially vulnerable children.

Shelter and non-food items: UNICEF will procure essential non-food items for 105,000 IDPs living in the country’s northern prefectures.

Summary of UNICEF financial needs for 2008
Sector US$
Health and nutrition 7,880,940
Water, sanitation and hygiene 2,036,550
Education 1,976,529
Child protection 1,877,850
Shelter/non-food items 1,790,200
Total* 15,562,069

* The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.


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