3M Children Face ‘Highest Registered Level of Overlapping, Interconnected Crises’ in Central African Republic: UNICEF

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3M Children Face 'Highest Registered Level of Overlapping, Interconnected Crises' in Central African Republic: UNICEF
3M Children Face 'Highest Registered Level of Overlapping, Interconnected Crises' in Central African Republic: UNICEF

Africa-Press – Kenya. UNICEF on Tuesday said that 3 million children face the “highest registered level of overlapping and interconnected crises’ in the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The Central African Republic now holds the tragic distinction of being ranked first among 191 countries as the most at-risk for humanitarian crises and disaster. This dire status underscores the severe and urgent challenges faced by its youngest citizens,” UNICEF representative in the CAR, Meritxell Relano Arana, told a UN press briefing in Geneva.

Stressing that 10 years of protracted conflict and instability left “every single one” of 3 million children at risk in the country, Arana said one in two children do not have access to health services and around just one-third, 37%, of children attend school regularly.

Nearly two in three, 61%, young women were married before the age of 18, she continued, while almost 40% of the children in the country suffer from chronic malnutrition.

“The fact that the crisis in CAR has been stretched out over so many years — and that, sadly, so many other global crises continue to unfold in parallel — means that the children of CAR have become painfully invisible,” Arana said, and added: “But their pain and loss are profoundly evident.”

She noted that the government’s new National Development Plan, alongside other major commitments to improve children’s rights, means UNICEF and its partners have a viable mechanism to push for a change of course.

“Amid this rare moment of opportunity, the greatest risk is that the champions these children rely on — international donors, global media, and an informed public — may turn their backs and look away in the face of simultaneous global crises,” she said.

She warned that such distraction would mean “many children will unnecessarily die; many more will see their futures destroyed.”

The representative urged the international community not to forget the children of CAR.

Source: UNICEF

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