Violence in Central African Republic
Violence threatens 2.3 million children
UNICEF is accelerating efforts to aid 2.3 million children affected by a year of conflict in the deeply impoverished Central African Republic (CAR). Fighting has forced more than 480,000 people to flee their homes, the majority women and children. The numbers of those displaced are growing as the CAR conflict intensifies in the country's northwest region.
Children targeted for violence, and as soldiers
Children are increasingly victims of attacks, and many — at least 3,500 and perhaps as many as 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.