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UNICEF Fights for Central African Republic Children

UNICEF is halfway to its goal for assisting the children of the Central African Republic who continue to suffer due to sectarian violence and political instability.

UNICEF requested $70.9 million for malnourished children in the Central African Republic at the beginning of this year. The plan called for food and basic health services to be made available to the children. As of December, the organization has raised just over half that amount.

By the end of this year, UNICEF had planned for:

  • 1.2 million people to have access to basic health services and medicine
  • 4,000 children to be released from armed forces and groups and have access to alternative education opportunities
  • 40,000 highly vulnerable households in remote areas to be assisted with water, sanitation and hygiene and non-food items interventions

The Central African Republic has been in a state of conflict that escalated two months ago with the “worst violence” the capital, Bangui, has ever seen.

Clashes among religious groups have created a violent atmosphere especially for Central African Republic children, who have been caught in the middle of these tensions.

Exactly half of the total affected population or 2.4 million Central African Republic children need assistance. UNICEF hopes to reach two million people by the end of the year, including 1.4 million children.

From July to December, the organization has focused on treating vaccine-preventable and water-borne diseases, as well as other infectious diseases. Providing access to clean facilities has also been high on the agenda.

The UNICEF’s Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) provides safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to about 200,000 people in remote areas. “The RRM will continue to advocate for a multi-sectoral response in the hard-to-reach areas,” UNICEF said.

Ashley Tressel

Sources: Reuters, UNICEF 1, UNICEF 2
Photo: Flickr