CAR

UNICEF External Situation Report Central African Republic - 13 Jun 2007

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Major developments

A UN humanitarian aid convoy left from Bangui this week to help the Sudanese refugees in Sam Ouandja, located in the Vakaga region on Sudanese border. UNICEF joined UNHCR, WFP, and FAO on the operation which included the provision of 80 metric tons of food, seeds and agricultural tools for 1,000 families, water purification sets, some medical supplies and other basic household items such as kitchen sets and education kits. The aid is expected to take about 10 days to reach the refugees due to poor road conditions.

The Central African Republic will finance health care projects in six provinces. The projects will be aimed specifically at women and children and will amongst other things address maternal mortality and raise health awareness.

A UNICEF Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES) representative participated in a joint rapid assessment from 6 to 9 June 2007 in Sam Ouandja. This was followed by UNICEF's immediate response to the WES needs of 2,622 Sudanese refugees.

UNICEF Response

HEALTH/EXPANDED PROGRAMME ON IMMUNIZATION (EPI)

After discussions with IMC (International Medical Corps), UNICEF has agreed to distribute vaccines, supplies and injection safety materials to provide measles immunization to the Sudanese refugee children who recently arrived in Sam Ouandja.

This week, the section will take part in a week long seminar to review and validate two EPI training modules; (i) immunization practice by health workers and (ii) planning, management, monitoring and evaluation of EPI activities at all levels of the health system.

A standby generator ordered by the section for the Cold Room of the Directorate of EPI in the Ministry of Health has arrived in Bangui this week.

EDUCATION

School equipment has been distributed to 846 students in the Gordil area during the recent child soldier identification mission.

Both parents and teachers in the Gordil area have expressed a desire to restart school activities, which have all but ceased since the onset of the conflict.

30 education and recreation kits have been sent to Sam Ouandja town and the nearby Sudanese Refugee Camp.

PROTECTION

A six person UNICEF team left for the Vakaga region last week to carry out a needs assessment and prepare for the upcoming reintegration of child soldiers. UNICEF representatives will also attend the ceremony for the signing of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) agreement. Representatives from other UN agencies, the UFDR and the GoCAR will also be present. The event will be documented by the British Channel 4 television crew and the TVE Spanish network.

WATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION

The team is currently conducting a rapid assessment of 19 villages in Gordil and its surrounding area. The assessment will determine which WES activities will accompany the demobilization of children involved in the armed conflict.

Red Crescent volunteers and refugees have received water and sanitation training this week, which focused largely on chlorination procedures at points of use (POU). At the same time, 350 jerry cans and 500 packs of water purification tablets were distributed through UNICEF's partner Triangle. Additionally, 30 sanitation kits (including shovels, wheelbarrows and machetes) were dispatched with the WFP convoy.

Bid documents for the commissioning of 40 new boreholes are now being finalized together with the DGH (Direction Générale de l'Hydraulique).

The IPHD (International Partnership for Human Development) project in Ndele is still in progress. The completion of the final six boreholes raised the total number of safe water beneficiaries, utilizing a total of 20 boreholes to 10,332 people.

NUTRITION

Working in partnership with IPHD, UNICEF has helped complete the training of Community Agents in the Ndele area. The programme of activities will begin in mid June and run for 5 months. Nearly 19,000 children from 0 to 5 years will profit of this nutritional monitoring programme.

WFP has agreed to provide food support for the Bangui's supplementary feeding center.

With technical support from ACF, activities continue in Bangui's Pediatric Complex. 33 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition are currently hospitalized; there have been 24 new admissions since the beginning of June.

NON FOOD ITEMS

UNICEF has worked with UNHCR to distribute much needed non-food items to the refugees residing in Sam Ouandja. Supplies included; 600 plastic sheetings, 6,000 soaps, 2,450 kitchen sets, 1,000 mosquito nets and 1,000 blankets.