CAR children need protection and education

by Lisa Jones, Plan UK | Plan UK
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:45 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

CHILDREN in the Central African Republic are in desperate need of protection and education after the civil war destroyed basic infrastructure, reports children’s charity Plan International.

Plan is working in CAR for the first time and is now calling on the international community to help in funding the response.

More than 300,000 people need urgent help after being displaced inside the country, while a further 350,000 have fled to neighbouring states.

“Children and youth in CAR have experienced grave violations of their rights,” says Henri-Noel Tatangang, Plan’s Emergency Response Manager for the Central African Republic.

“They have been recruited by militia, subjected to sexual violence and some have been killed. Many have witnessed violence against their families and the destruction of their homes,” he adds.

Plan is prioritising child protection and education, which for many children has been disrupted due to the insecurity.

It has already run a workshop for 30 pre-school teachers in the capital Bangui.

But it needs $3 million to create sustainable programmes to benefit affected children.

“Access to basic services is weak to non-existent and commercial activities have shut down, making the population even more vulnerable,” says Mr Tatangang.

“Child protection and education are the two most under-funded sectors and need our attention. Pre-school and early childhood care has been neglected.

“Children must receive this service to ensure better development and to achieve their full potential,” he adds.

The call comes as members of the UN Security Council receive a briefing on the protection of civilians in the Central African Republic.

While a ceasefire was agreed earlier this month in Brazzaville, Congo, significant pockets of violence remain in the country.

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