Violence in Central African Republic
Renewed fighting in the Central African Republic has caused thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, to flee their homes in the northwestern section of the country.
The latest violence is the most recent setback in a disastrous nine months for 2.3 million children affected by ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic. The deeply impoverished country already has one of the world's highest rates of child mortality, and the crisis has disrupted vaccination campaigns, interrupted malnutrition treatment programs, and made any health care more difficult to obtain. Measles outbreaks have occurred in nearly every region of the country.
The crisis' impact extends to education and safety: Seven out of ten primary school children in the country have stopped going to classes. Many have been recruited as child soldiers - UNICEF estimated there were already 2,000 children serving in armed groups before the crisis - and others have been raped or killed. UNICEF has supported emergency health activities in Bangui's four main hospitals and a national vaccination campaign that began this month. Three quarters of the nutrition clinics that were shuttered by war have been reopened. UNICEF has also been re-supplying schools with furniture and learning materials.
The conflict broke out in December 2012 when the armed coalition Seleka began its advance across the country. The Seleka took control of Bangui, the capital, in a March 24 coup. An emergency appeal for $11.5 million had been issued by UNICEF before the Seleka's takeover. Since then, funding needs have tripled to $31.9 million. A gap of about $20 million through the end of the year threatens UNICEF's ability to continue delivering the emergency services children in the Central African Republic urgently require.