There are approximately 1.85 million children in
the Central African Republic, and 350,000 of them are orphans,
some reports estimate that 72,000 of these are orphaned through
AIDS, others double that figure.
Most children in the
CAR are orphans because of the ongoing conflict there which has
reduced life expectancy to just fifty years with children aged
14yrs or younger comprising 41% of the country's population.
Whatever the actual
orphan figures, these children face an even bleaker future than
others in the war torn country.
children become orphans in the Central African Republic
because of AIDS and the high maternal mortality rate
which stands at 890 deaths for every 100,000 live births,
the fourth highest such mortality rate in the world and
the fifth highest infant mortality rate in the world.
Health and educational outcomes are already poor so, as ever, these
orphans, unless taken in and cared for by family or one of the humanitarian aid
agencies, are unlikely to develop the life skills required to make a successful
journey into adulthood.
Indeed 38% of all orphans in the Central African
republic suffer from malnutrition in a country where 67%
of the entire population live on less than a dollar a
day, less than 66% have access to clean water and one
week's earnings can just about buy a chicken. 43% of
children under 5yrs in the CAR suffer from moderate or
severe stunting according to the World Health
Organisation and in rural communities just 28% of
children have access to improved sanitation rising to
43% in urban areas not that living in places like Bangui
necessarily leads to better outcome as around 25% of the
population there is unemployed without an income.
Many of these orphans will end up on
the streets where they will be at increased risk of child trafficking and
abducted for forced labour, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Many of
these orphans are also sold abroad to Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
Because the Central African Republic
is considered such a dangerous country following decades of internal conflict
particularly around the neighbouring nations of Chad, Sudan, and the Democratic
Republic of Congo and with the Lord's Resistance Army carrying out incursions
into the country often abducting children and forcing them to take up arms, few
charities are able to operate in there as the government is unable to ensure
One such charity is SOS Children's
Village who operate a number of facilities in the Central African Republic so if
you are interested in sponsoring one of the Central African Republic's many
orphans why not pay their website a visit, oh, and while you're there make a