News / Africa

CAR Refugees in Chad Need Urgent Aid, Protection

FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital  Bangui, January 22, 2014. FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.
x
FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital  Bangui, January 22, 2014.
FILE - A woman looks on as people on a truck gather their belongings during a road repatriation to Chad in the capital Bangui, January 22, 2014.
Anne Look
— Chad is now home to more than 80,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR). Most of them are Muslims who have fled the recent violence in the CAR.  Aid agencies say these refugees urgently need food and shelter.  For some, particularly those living near the border, the threat of violence remains. 

Tens of thousands of civilians have crossed from the Central African Republic into southern Chad in the past three months.  Most of them are Muslims and many are of Chadian descent, even if their families have lived in the CAR for generations.

Many have crossed the border in convoys under the protection of the Chadian army.  Others have walked on their own.

They may have found refuge from the immediate threat of attack, but they are not finding much relief.

Many are sleeping in makeshift shelters near the border with little food.  Malaria is an ever-present threat and without proper sanitation, the risk of a waterborne illness like cholera is real.

The international aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, is providing assistance to refugees at sites in southern Chad and in the capital, N'Djamena.

MSF emergency coordinator, Foura Sassou Madi, spoke to VOA from Sido, a transit camp less than a kilometer from the border that is currently home to 13,000 people.

He said refugees are arriving in very precarious conditions in need of medical assistance, some of them after days of walking, some are so weak he doesn't how they made it.

Hunger is a primary concern.  MSF has treated dozens of children who have arrived in Chad with severe acute malnutrition.  Without rapid food assistance, the group said, things could quickly get much worse.

Madi said the U.N. World Food Program has carried out two targeted distributions at the Sido camp.

He said those food distributions have only reached about half the refugees, the most recent distribution on March 4 and 5 was for about 6,000 people.  He said their families were given one week's worth of food, so the problem is far from solved.   

The United Nations said it has only received about one-fifth of the $33 million needed to fund an emergency plan to help 150,000 people affected by the crisis in the CAR.

MSF said the Chadian government has exhausted its stocks of emergency medicines and other necessities.

Rights group Amnesty International said those displaced to Chad need protection as well as urgent humanitarian assistance.

Amnesty researcher Christian Mukosa just spent two weeks visiting refugee sites throughout Chad. He says many are still dangerously close to the border.

Mukosa said the border is porous and it is very easy to get back and forth.  He says they also spoke with many people who had fled the CAR only to find their aggressors at the same site in Chad.  He said he met one woman who told him the Seleka commander who had attacked her was now living in the same camp and she felt very unsafe.

Mukosa said Amnesty has alerted the authorities to these risks and has requested they move refugee sites further from the border.

Mukosa said ramping up security at refugee sites is essential to keep communal tensions and tit-for-tat revenge attacks that have been raging in the CAR from spilling into Chad.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid