Children in Central African Republic in “dire" situation

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Souleymane Diabaté. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

The ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic has worsened an already "dire" situation for children.

That's what the country representative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Souleymane Diabaté, told reporters in New York on Tuesday.

Thousands of people are believed to have been killed and hundreds of thousands of others forced to flee their home in the violence that is pitting Christian and Muslim communities against each other.

Mr. Diabaté said even before the crisis started in December 2012, the situation was already bad for children in the Central African Republic.

"Before the crisis the situation was not good at all and it has worsened since. Every 21 minutes a child died in CAR from preventable diseases. As you know also, the Central African Republic is surrounded by fragile countries. We have countries with polio outbreak. So the situation for the children is very dire and what is going on right now in CAR is horrible." 

Mr. Diabaté pointed out that there are over 6,000 children associated with armed groups in the country.

He said UNICEF is on the ground to save the lives of children through immunization campaigns, the screening and rehabilitating of malnourished children and working for the release of child-soldiers.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’25”

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