© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-1242/Holtz

Six-year-old Hamatou was abducted and held hostage for two years before being rescued by government troops. Conflict has deepened the country’s poverty and displaced some 200,000 people.


The Central African Republic (CAR) is a politically and economically unstable country where poverty is ravaging and social infrastructures providing basic services are almost non-existent. Among other factors, the armed conflict could be considered as a major reason for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country. Since 2005, fighting between the national army and other armed groups, as well as increased banditry, has led to the displacement of great numbers of population both inside and outside the country and to the destruction of basic social services such as health, education and water supply, to which the access is very limited today in CAR, mainly in the northern zones.


UNICEF is the cluster lead for nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and shelter/non-food items (NFIs) and co-leads the protection cluster with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). UNICEF-supported programmes are expected to reach at least 487,360 persons, among them 170,200 children.  

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to 55 health centres; distribute impregnated mosquito nets to 4,000 households; train community volunteers in 100 villages on home-based management of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea; support the organization of immunization riposte campaigns in the event of measles/yellow fever outbreaks; support eight therapeutic feeding centres and six outpatient treatment centres; conduct nutrition surveys/assessments in inaccessible zones and set up a nutrition surveillance mechanism.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will provide WASH-related NFIs to 50,000 conflict-affected people; promote the construction of improved family latrines for 3,230 families (16,150 persons) and promote household safe water treatment/storage; construct new water points equipped with handpumps in the vicinity of schools, handwashing facilities and two blocks of ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines per school; and foster the coordination of the WASH sector and gear up emergency preparedness activities.

Education: UNICEF will provide basic school materials and recreational kits to 13,000 displaced and war-affected children; train 260 primary schoolteachers and 100 members of parent-teacher associations; and rehabilitate and equip eight primary schools, reaching 4,800 children.

Child Protection: UNICEF will promote the demobilization of at least 500 child soldiers; support the community-based reintegration of around 1,100 children associated with armed forces or groups (CAAFG); rehabilitate 80 community-based basic social services infrastructures; monitor and report on grave child rights’ violations; and support the prevention, identification, documentation, tracing, care and reunification of an estimated 500 separated children.

Shelter and Non-Food Items: UNICEF will conduct needs assessment and monitor the humanitarian situation of conflict-affected population; standardize the shelter/NFI kit in CAR and provide appropriate kits to the needy population; prepare the NFI distribution plan by taking into consideration the target population’s perception of needs; monitor and evaluate project activities as well as their immediate impact on the target population; and increase shelter and NFI cluster coordination.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 6,743,990
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 1,990,040
Education 1,072,900
Child Protection 1,839,400
Shelter and Non-Food Items 835,000
Total** 12,481,330

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** 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.