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News note

Emergency assistance reaches children and women affected by recent violence in the Central African Republic

A health worker records children’s information, at one of many temporary immunization sites in Bangui, the capital, during the measles vaccination campaign.

NEW YORK/ GENEVA, 1 October 2013 - UNICEF is delivering emergency assistance to some 5,500 families newly displaced by the recent violence in the northwestern prefectures of the Central African Republic. The majority of the displaced are women and children now living in deplorable conditions with no access to safe water, nor shelter.

Critical supplies provided include safe water, tarpaulins, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, jerry cans, and soap. UNICEF has also provided emergency health and nutrition supplies to partners, and more assistance is en route.

The most recent assessments conducted by the United Nations show that there are now close to 400,000 people displaced by the fighting, including around 170,000 who have been uprooted in the violence of recent weeks, many of whom are hiding in the bush out of fear. Over 60,000 have fled to neighboring countries.

The past nine months of lawlessness and insecurity have been disastrous, particularly for children in the Central African Republic.

Measles outbreaks are reported almost everywhere in the country, at least 600 cases have been reported this year.  And around 250,000 children have lost out on the last school year. Forced marriages and sexual violence against young girls is reportedly on the rise, and UNICEF estimates that there are now some 3,500 children associated with armed groups, up from around 2,000 prior to the conflict.

With partners, UNICEF continues to work despite the very difficult conditions to provide life-saving assistance. Mobile teams have been deployed outside the capital Bangui since late July to help restart services in health facilities that had been closed or non-operational for months.

Preparations are underway for a nationwide measles vaccination campaign to be launched later this week, aiming to reach 550,000 children between 6 and 59 months old in all districts. UNICEF is also supporting partners to repair water points wherever access is possible.

Funding remains an acute constraint. UNICEF’s 2013 emergency appeal issued before the military takeover of the country has since tripled to $31.9million. UNICEF has so far received about $11 million, leaving a funding gap of $21 million through the end of the year.


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org.

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For more information, please contact:

Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media; Tel: + 1 212 326 7452; kdonovan@unicef.org
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva, Tel: +41 22 909 5716, Cell: +41 79 756 770; mmercado@unicef.org
Linda Tom, UNICEF Central African Republic, Tel: +236 70550210; ltom@unicef.org




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