At the end of 2019, over 669,000 people were still displaced in CAR, close to the highest level in three years. As 593,000 Central Africans are also registered as refugees abroad, in total one in five has fled conflict.
According to the preliminary results of the 2019 SMART survey supported by UNICEF, the national prevalence of SAM is 1.3 per cent compared to 2.1 percent in 2018, highlighting good progress in the fight against MAS. In 2019, UNICEF and partners treated 30,065 children suffering from MAS (98% of the HAC target).
On 20 December, the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education officially launched the radio education programme, developed with UNICEF support.
It targets children affected by the crisis and/or living in hard-to-reach areas, and out-of-school children in general.
In 2019, as part of the response to the polio outbreak, UNICEF and partners vaccinated 1,001,508 children.
In 2019, the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) reached 277,692 vulnerable people including 173,500 children with essential household items, and 127,600 people including 67,900 children with WASH interventions.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
In December, UNICEF received an additional contribution from the CAR Humanitarian Fund to scale-up WASH interventions, particularly in response to the floods. In 2019, UNICEF CAR’s Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal was over 61% funded (see Annex B for details). UNICEF wishes to express its deep gratitude to donors for the contributions received in 2019, that have made the current response in CAR possible. As we enter 2020, violence and displacement is again on the rise in CAR, and continuing donor support will be critical to ensure that the vital needs of children and their families affected by conflict cans be addressed.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
On 24-26 December, clashes between auto defence groups and traders in the 3rd district of Bangui resulted in 51 dead and 70 injured according to MINUSCA. In North-eastern Vakaga prefecture, tensions between opposed groups persisted throughout the month.
On the 21st of December the Minister of Health and Population announced the end of the hepatitis E epidemic, which had caused 142 confirmed cases mostly in Bocaranga area (Northwest) since July 2019.
According to the preliminary results of the 2019 SMART survey supported by UNICEF, the national SAM prevalence is 1.3 per cent compared to 2.1 percent in 2018, highlighting good progress in the fight against MAS. However, the global acute malnutrition (GAM) prevalence is 5.8%, and 11 prefectures out of 16 are in a situation of nutritional alert with the GAM rate between ≥ 5% and <10%. Except Bangui, all other prefectures have chronic malnutrition rates above 30% - considered as a critical threshold by WHO and UNICEF. The prefectures of Basse-Kotto, Kemo, Lobaye, MambereKadei, Nana-Mambere, Nana-Gribizi, Ouaka, Ouham, Ouham-Pende, and Sangha-Mbaere have stunting rates above 40%. Likewise, results of the National food security assessment, coordinated by WFP, indicate that 44% of CAR’s population (about 2 million people) suffer from moderate or acute food insecurity, a slight improvement from last year’s 50%. According to the study, the enduring high levels of food insecurity are linked to the cumulative effects of insecurity, displacement and the related depletion of productive assets.
At the end of 2019, over 669,000 people were still displaced in CAR, close to the highest level in three years. As 593,000 Central Africans are also registered as refugees abroad, in total one in five has fled conflict. The security situation globally improved after the peace agreement between the CAR government and 14 armed groups in February. In the six months following the signing, human rights violations and violent deaths of civilians diminished by about two thirds according to MINUSCA, and about 350,000 people returned from displacement or exile according to OCHA, often to their devastated villages. This lull in the conflict enabled humanitarian actors to access new areas previously cut-off, especially in the Southeast. However, peace agreement violations and population displacement both started rising again from August, and the humanitarian situation remains very precarious, especially in the Eastern part of the country and the Northwest.