The complex humanitarian and protection crisis in the Central African Republic that began in 2012 continues to cause suffering and instability. In 2018, an estimated 2.5 million people, including 1.3 million children, will be in need of humanitarian assistance.1 Nearly one in four Central Africans is displaced, with 600,000 displaced internally and 538,000 living as refugees in neighbouring countries.2 An estimated 1.1 million people are moderately or severely food insecure,3 and in 2018, an estimated 37,281 children under 5 years will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).4 Less than half of all children are fully immunized.5 Of the 1.7 million people without access to safe water, 800,000 are children.6 With the upsurge in violence, the recruitment and use of children by armed groups increased by 50 per cent between 2016 and 2017.7 Due to insecurity, approximately one in four children is out of school.8
In line with the Central African Republic 2017-2019 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF will continue to provide life-saving assistance to crisis-affected and displaced children in 2018.9 Nutrition interventions, including an emergency infant and young child feeding package and micronutrient supplementation, will reach 28,000 children under 5 with SAM. UNICEF will also target populations affected by conflict and violence with access to safe water, sanitation and emergency health services. Through the Rapid Response Mechanism and working with non-governmental organization partners, UNICEF will provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and household supplies to the most vulnerable children and families. UNICEF will continue to focus on the protection needs of children, including their release from armed groups, the reunification of these children with their families and the provision of psychosocial support. Children affected by crisis will also be supported to access safe learning spaces and quality education. UNICEF will continue to lead the nutrition, education and WASH clusters, as well as the child protection sub-cluster, at national and sub-national levels, and work with line ministries to strengthen government capacity for humanitarian coordination, leadership and response. UNICEF will also continue to support education, nutrition, health and WASH core supply pipelines.
Results from 2017
As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$24.6 million available against the US$53.6 million appeal (46 per cent funded).10 In 2017, UNICEF and partners delivered life-saving interventions to affected populations. More than 152,000 children under 5 in sites for internally displaced persons gained access to basic health services and medicines and over 272,000 crisis-affected people gained access to safe water. Some 102,000 displaced and host community children benefitted from psychosocial support in child-friendly spaces and 1,900 children were released from armed groups and received interim care. In addition, some 56,000 children gained access to safe and protective learning environments through temporary learning spaces. Ninety per cent of children treated for SAM recovered. The Rapid Response Mechanism reached nearly 72,000 people with emergency WASH assistance and 24,000 households with non-food items. Decreased humanitarian access and lack of funding led to low achievement against some targets. Government capacity was reinforced through the WASH and education clusters, and the child protection sub-cluster co-led with the Government. This included on-the-job training for government partners on WASH emergency response and monitoring. Where possible, UNICEF worked to increase the durability of emergency response, including in the construction of school and WASH infrastructure and through government training.
Funding requirements In line with the country’s inter-agency 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$56,500,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in the Central African Republic. Without sufficient and timely funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s continuing crisis and provide critical life-saving services to internally displaced and conflict-affected people. UNICEF also requires funding to treat children with SAM and provide reintegration support to children released from armed forces/groups.