From January to June 2018, despite increasing security-related access constraints, the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) reached a record 100,093 vulnerable persons with NFIs and 79,047 with WASH interventions, reflecting the overall deterioration of the humanitarian situation in CAR.
Since the start of 2018, nearly 14,000 children have been treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). However, the nutritional situation of children has continued to deteriorate SAM is above the emergency threshold in 39 out of 71 provincial health districts nationwide. An estimated 110,000 children under 5 will suffer from acute malnutrition this year.
In June, at least 85% of the crisis-affected children studying in UNICEFfunded Temporary Learning Spaces who took their examination for the upper grades received a passing grade.
Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, undertook a five-day visit to CAR in May, going to some of the areas worst affected by violence to meet with IDPs and assess UNICEF’s response.
Halfway through the year, funding shortfalls for UNICEF CAR 2018 appeal are still over 90 per cent in Health, HIV/AIDS and WASH sectors, and over 80 per cent for the nutrition emergency response.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
# of children in need of humanitarian assistance
# of people in need
(OCHA, June 2018)
# of Internally displaced persons
(OCHA, June 2018)
# of registered CAR refugees
(UNHCR, June 2018)
2018 UNICEF Appeal
US$ 56.5 million
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR) continues to be complex and multi-dimensional. Since the beginning of 2018, an increase in tensions and violence has engulfed most of the country. Several major towns and cities and their surroundings have been affected, including Bria (Center-East), Bangassou and Rafai (Southeast), Kaga Bandoro (North), and most notably Bambari (Center-East). These episodes resulted in deaths, displacement, human rights violations and the disruption of humanitarian assistance. In one particularly bloody episode in March and early April, armed groups raided several villages along the Bambari-Ippy axis (Center-East). Around 100 civilians and one UN peacekeeper were killed, and several villages burned down. Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, visited the area in May and met with displaced survivors assisted by the RRM in Seko IDP settlement.
Dozens of smaller scale attacks and clashes took place from the Northwest to the Southeast of the country, and a new armed group emerged west of Berberati in the southwest, in an area thus far mostly spared by violence.
The capital Bangui also experienced its highest levels of violence in at least two years. On 8 April, the peacekeeping force MINUSCA and the nationalsecurity forces1 launched a joint operation to neutralize armed groups in the PK5 area, which resulted until 11 April in several episodes of major violence during which 31 people died and at least 145 people were injured. On 1 May, clashes broke out between the internal security forces and PK5 militia, in which 30 people were killed and 185 injured. Following the Ebola outbreak in Equateur province of neighboring DRC in May, WHO alerted that there was a high risk of the disease spreading to CAR. WHO and the Ministry of Health and Population, with UNICEF participation, successfully activated the national contingency plan mid-May. No cases had been reported in the country at the end of June. Also on a positive note, most of the 76,000 IDPs who had found refuge in the town of Paoua (Northwest) in December 2017, fleeing armed groups attacks in its surroundings, have returned home following the extension of MINUSCA operations in the area. Some refugees in Chad have also started to returned to CAR.
A quarter of the CAR population are still either displaced or refugees in neighboring countries. At 609,000 the number of IDPs at the end of June is down from its January peak of close to 694,000, mostly due to the returns in the Paoua area, but remains close to record levels. Displaced children and their families, both in camps or settlements and staying with host families, continue to face acute multi-sector needs, which aid actors find harder to meet in a context of decreasing humanitarian funding and mounting access challenges. The humanitarian situation of the 151,0002 recent returnees and of the communities hosting large numbers of IDPs across the country is equally of concern. Conflict-related growing food insecurity is particularly preoccupying, with the last integrated food security phase classification (IPC) exercise estimating two million people (43% of the population) to be severely food insecure over the period April-August 2018. A nutritional crisis is looming, and UNICEF now expects that over 42,369 children under 5 will suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
Response gaps are also significant in education, child protection and WASH, particularly to ensure continuing service provision on the country’s 85 IDP settlements and to support returns where they happen. Finally, humanitarian access remains constrained, as insecurity spreads and aid workers are increasingly targeted. On 25 February, six education workers, including a UNICEF consultant, were murdered near Markounda, a remote area near the Chadian border while travelling to start a training for community teachers. Aid organizations have been victims of dozens of attacks, burglaries and carjacking incidents across the country over the first semester.