CAR

UNICEF External Situation Report Central African Republic - 02 May 2007

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Major developments

On the 24 April 2007 a presidential guard was shot in Boguila, south of Paoua. As a result, the NGOs in Paoua and Boguila ceased operations in the interim.

A significant rebel presence remains around Ouango and Kaga Bandoro.

Needs Assessment

UNHCR and BONUCA confirmed that a village on the Batangafo-Kabo axis was burnt two weeks ago. This has lead to the displacement of 50-60 families. UNHCR is collaborating with Solidarite in order to distribute NFIs such as clothes, LL/ITNs and soap.

An inter-agency assessment mission (BONUCA, UNHCR, UNICEF and UNOCHA) left on Tuesday 1 May in order to survey the village of Ngaoundaye. Unfortunately the mission was cut-short on Wednesday 2 May due to security problems. It was noted that 7,000 people had been displaced internally.

UNICEF Response

EDUCATION

A recent assessment carried out by the Bossangoa team in Kaga Bandoro has identified the main educational needs of those children living in the region.

Overall, 840 children have been displaced (including 573 in primary education) and there is a severe lack of teaching materials.

UNICEF's will target both displaced and host children in order to avoid tension and resentment.

NUTRITION

The therapeutic feeding centre (TFC) in Bossangoa is expected to be opened by ACF on 15 May 2007.

ACF has recently hosted a training session for health and nutrition workers in Bangui. ACF hopes to integrate nutritional surveillance into its Ouham and Ouham Pendé programmes.

UNICEF is set to collaborate with ACF in Bangui, Bossangoa and Bozoum where it will create 3 TFCs and 14 nutritional surveillance schemes. An additional supplementary feeding centre (SFC) is to be created in Bangui.

HIV/AIDS

A recent assessment mission has been carried out in Bossangoa. It was found that there was a severe lack of equipment for testing HIV-positive patients and distributing ARVs in the hospital.

UNFPA plans to carry out training sessions in 3 health centers in Ouham-Pendé in order to improve treatment for HIV patients and to provide obstetric emergency care. The scheme additionally aims to train peer educators and health workers in the region.

HEALTH/EPI

From the 28th of April to the 1st May 2007, the EPI Project Officer attended the 4th Integrated Disease Surveillance and Routine coordination meeting in Boali. One of the main recommendations from the meeting was the need to review the Vitamin A command/supply chain. It was felt that this needed to become more complimentary to existing chains for routine vaccines and injection security devices. The current system is not always effective and shortages of Vitamin A in vaccination centres are common.

Preparations are underway for a nation wide child survival campaign (9-13 May) which is to include the distribution of multi-antigen immunization packages, vitamin A capsules, LL/ITNs and de-worming (Mebendazole) tablets. This will be complimented with an extensive hand-washing and breastfeeding campaign. Tetanus vaccinations for pregnant women have also been included in the interventions package.

Child Survival and Development (CSD) is also preparing to hand over their section to the MoH. One hundred bicycles and eighteen motor bikes have been provided in order to strengthen capacity and allow improved immunization outreach activities.

WES

Significant progress has been made in compiling a country-wide data base, which aims to show pump type and location as well as their corresponding management committee. The last time this was updated was in 2006.

This process will eventually lead to the mapping of all the pumps on Google Earth - all relevant information will be available simply by clicking on the pump location.

An agreement with COOPI has been finalized in order to include hygiene promotion in their 8 month Bush School programme which is set to target 12,000 children.

A hygiene promotion project which aims to train community trainers in Paoua is set to begin on 17 May 2007.

Spare parts have been sent to Birao, along with a technician from Direction Générale de l'Hydraulique (DGH) in order to fix existing pumps.

Spare pump parts have also been ordered and the dissemination of these is currently being organized.

PROTECTION

The training of military personnel is to be carried out on 14-15 May in Kaga-Bandoro. UNICEF aims to sensitize the armed forces to both the rights of refugees and those of the child. Personnel from all groups will be targeted including; 30 from FACA, 10 from the gendarmerie, and 5 police officers.

Discussions with the Catholic Church in Bossangoa have begun in order to explore the possibility of providing training for vulnerable children and helping with DDR process.

Inter-agency Collaboration and Key Partnerships

UNICEF is in the process of signing an agreement with IRC which will establish a partnership in Kaga Bandoro. The programme will target education, WES and protection.