Central African Republic

Amelie, 12, lies in her hospital bed at Bangui Paediatric Hospital in Bangui, the capital. She is suffering from bone cancer, for which no drugs are available in the country.
Amelie, 12, lies in her hospital bed at Bangui Paediatric Hospital in the capital. She is suffering from bone cancer, for which no drugs are available in the country.
UNICEF/NYHQ2007-0423/GIACOMO PIROZZI

Violence threatens 2.3 million children.

The deeply impoverished Central African Republic (CAR) has been mired in violence since December 2012. More than 625,000 people have been displaced because of the fighting—most of them women and children. At least 6,000 children have been recruited into armed groups.

Meanwhile, the number of children treated for severe acute malnutrition has tripled in the last year. There is only one pediatric hospital in the entire country.

UNICEF has freed more than 1,000 child soldiers and is assisting displaced families with essential services including water, sanitation, education, malaria prevention and treatment for malnutrition.

fast facts

Children targeted for violence, and as soldiers

Children are increasingly victims of attacks, and many — an estimated 6,000 — are being forced to serve as child soldiers. Sexual violence against girls is also increasing.

Children missing school, health care

Seven out of ten primary school children in Central African Republic have stopped going to classes. The crisis in the CAR has also interrupted malnutrition treatment programs and made health care difficult to obtain. Measles outbreaks have occurred throughout the country.

UNICEF's relief efforts for children

UNICEF and its partners have managed to immunize more than 500,000 children against measles and polio through October 2013, and a new national campaign to immunize another 550,000 children has just been launched. UNICEF also supports emergency health activities in Bangui's four main hospitals and has helped reopen many nutrition clinics shuttered by the war. UNICEF is re-supplying schools with furniture and learning materials and supporting efforts to educate child refugees in neighboring countries.

UNICEF issued an emergency appeal for $11.5 million shortly after the conflict broke out in December 2012. Since then, funding needs have tripled, threatening UNICEF's ability to continue delivering emergency services to children.