UN agency appeals for nearly $1 million to feed 'forgotten' refugees in Chad

18 October 2005

Up to 11,000 new refugees fleeing random banditry and violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) are in urgent need of international aid as they gather in and around camps in neighbouring Chad, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.

Up to 11,000 new refugees fleeing random banditry and violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) are in urgent need of international aid as they gather in and around camps in neighbouring Chad, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned today.

“People have been arriving in extremely poor shape and in need of urgent assistance,” WFP Chad’s Country Director Stefano Porretti said of the new refugees, who are in addition to 32,000 long-term refugees from northern CAR in Chad.

“We have been able to mount an immediate response with the stocks that we have, but food supplies will run out at the end of the year unless we receive new contributions. These are among the forgotten refugees of Africa,” he added, stressing the need for a further $930,000 to ensure adequate supplies for all until the end of January.

Refugees continue to cross into Chad in small numbers by canoe, many navigating the Nana-Markounda River that marks the frontier, while there are reports that others have fled to safety within CAR itself.

Information on the violence is patchy, but refugees tell stories of armed groups storming villages, shooting randomly and looting. Few had time to collect any possessions before fleeing.

“Although some people are now fending for themselves to some degree, the new arrivals especially remain completely dependent on outside assistance and their plight has barely registered in the rest of the world. They have had a horrifying ordeal and their needs are as urgent as any others,” Mr. Porretti said.

WFP is also providing for the food needs in Chad of 200,000 refugees from Sudan’s Darfur conflict in a string of camps in the east of the country. That operation currently faces a shortfall in funding of 68 per cent, or $58.7 million.

 

♦ Receive daily updates directly in your inbox - Subscribe here to a topic.
♦ Download the UN News app for your iOS or Android devices.