Emergency Response: Over 150,000 CAR Refugees Face Hunger

The World Food Programme has announced a 50 per cent reduction of food supply amidst an urgent need to raise FCFA 1.4 billion to salvage the situation.

 

Over 150,000 Central African Republic (CAR) refugees living in the East, Adamawa and North Regions of Cameroon are faced with famine following the announcement by the World Food Programme (WFP) that it will cut down food supply by 50 per cent in November and December 2016. The move, according to the UN Agency is as a result of the crucial financial deficit facing the institution.

In this regard, the World Food Programme Cameroon Representative, Abdoulaye Balde and his counterpart of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Khassim Diagne, Friday November 11, 2016 in Yaounde, launched an urgent appeal to donors to mobilise 2.4 million dollars (FCFA 1.4 Billion) to rescue the precarious situation of food shortage. Speaking in a joint press conference, the WFP country Director stated that the agency is in urgent need of funds to the tune of FCFA 1,4 billion to meet the food needs of the Central African Republic refugees in the East Region for the last two months of the year.

The decision, Mr Abdoulaye Balde noted, is painful but the agency has no choice than to reduce food supply to 50 per cent. While admitting that the government of Cameroon has done a lot for the wellbeing of the refugees, the WFP country Director appealed to the international community to wade in as 90 per cent of the refugees rely on humanitarian assistance. The WFP, he noted, is profoundly preoccupied with the consequences on the nutritional health of the refugees as well as the bearing it will have on the stability of the fragile localities where the refugees are the  host communities share the already limited resources.

The country Representative of the UNHCR, Khassim Diagne underlined the urgent need for donors to intervene stating that the situation in Central African Republic is still precarious with over 7,000 new arrivals of CAR refugees registered in 2016 in Cameroon. He regretted that the international community is rather over preoccupied with the situation in Syria and Iraq while there is also a serious need in CAR. Statistics from the UN Refugee Agency indicate that only about 23 per cent of the CAR Regional Refugee Response Plan has been funded. Over FCFA 16 billion is required annually to cater for the food needs of the CAR refugee in the East, Adamawa and North Region.

 

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