News / Africa

UN Needs More Funding for CAR Refugees

A 19-year-old woman and her children wait for their first hot meal in over two months at the Dosseye refugee camp in Chad. They arrived the previous day after fleeing violence in C.A.R.
A 19-year-old woman and her children wait for their first hot meal in over two months at the Dosseye refugee camp in Chad. They arrived the previous day after fleeing violence in C.A.R.
Lisa Schlein

The UN refugee agency said it needs three times as much money as it's already received to provide basic aid to the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Central African Republic (C.A.R.).

In an effort to revive international support, UNHCR held a donors’ meeting Tuesday in Geneva.  The agency said that so far, it has received about one-third of what it needs this year to carry out its humanitarian operations in Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. 

UNHCR said 357,000 C.A.R. refugees have fled to neighboring countries since fighting erupted between Seleka rebels and the government in December 2012.  An additional 160,000 have fled since last December after clashes intensified between the Seleka Muslim alliance and Christian anti-Balaka militia, according to UNHCR.

The agency said the majority of those who left C.A.R. are Muslim women and children. 

UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told VOA refugees continue to flee the Central African Republic at a rate of about 2,000 a week.  He said most of them head for Cameroon, with over 118,000 seeking refuge there in the last seven months.

“People that we have been receiving inside Cameroon, they have been walking for days, weeks and months,” said Baloch.  “When they arrive many of these are going through phases of malnutrition, but especially kids.  When they arrive, they come to die at our doorsteps and that is a very dire situation.” 

Baloch said interest in the C.A.R. refugees has dropped significantly since images of their desperate plight have disappeared from television screens.  He called it a forgotten crisis and said that is having severe repercussions. 

“It seriously hampers our efforts,” he said.  “People who arrive in the neighboring countries need to be taken care and brought into refugee sites or camps.  That is not there.  Many of these people are just in the bordering areas here and there, where access is hard in terms of reaching them, but also in terms of caring for them [and providing] food, water, sanitation, and medical health assistance.” 

Baloch said greater efforts must be made to relocate people away from insecure and remote locations that often are hard to reach.  He says more sites need to be established to ensure refugee safety.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs