News / Africa

    UN Seeks Millions to Help CAR Refugees

    An internally displaced Muslim man lies in front of a house in the town of Boda, Central African Republic, April 15, 2014.
    An internally displaced Muslim man lies in front of a house in the town of Boda, Central African Republic, April 15, 2014.
    Lisa Schlein
    Fifteen United Nations and private humanitarian agencies are appealing for $274 million to fund emergency aid for people fleeing violence in the Central African Republic. Nearly 200,000 people have fled the C.A.R. since December, but the U.N. says it expects that number to grow to more than 360,000 by the end of the year. 

    The funding will meet the acute needs of refugees from the Central African Republic who have escaped to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. It also will benefit thousands of returnees and third-country nationals mainly from Chad, Cameroon and Congo whose families had settled in the C.A.R.  

    The U.N. says these people are particularly vulnerable as they are forced to go to countries where they no longer have any ties or support systems. But, the most vulnerable of all are the children. The U.N. Children’s Fund says more than half of those seeking asylum or displaced inside the C.A.R. are children.

    UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa Region Manuel Fontaine says C.A.R. refugees, mainly women and children, arrive in countries of asylum exhausted and in very bad shape. He says many children are severely malnourished and in need of special therapeutic feeding.

    He says a large number of children have become separated from their families and arrive in a strange country completely on their own.  

    “We identify more than 1,000 children, which is a very high proportion to the number of people who have actually crossed the border," he said. "This seems to indicate, as we imagine, a lot of people have left under a lot of stress and in a hurry for their protection. There are good systems in place to identify those children and, at least, protect them immediately and start tracing and reunification.”  

    Fontaine says only about 10 percent of these children have been reunited with their families. He says this is a very low rate, but UNICEF is working with other agencies, both inside the C.A.R. and in the countries of refuge, to trace the children’s families.

    He says UNICEF and its partners also are running measles campaigns and soon will begin a polio immunization campaign in Chad. He says concern is rising about the risk of diseases such as malaria and cholera as the rainy season begins.

    He tells VOA the window for positioning food and other relief supplies before the rains hit hard in July is narrowing. He says he fears running out of time.

    “We are pre-positioning a cholera treatment capacity, for example, in some areas because we might have that," he said. "We are pre-positioning ready-to-use therapeutic food. So we are doing it. I hope we will have time and means to do it sufficiently and in sufficient quantities because it is true the roads are going to be extremely hard to use.”  

    The United Nations says hundreds of thousands of victims of the C.A.R.’s brutal civil war are in desperate straits. It says they are struggling to restart their lives in countries that are as impoverished as their own and they need help.

    The U.N. says money is needed to provide shelter, food, water and sanitation, health and basic needs. UNICEF says money also is needed for education so children, who have been uprooted from their homes, can recover a bit of normality in their lives.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Joseph
    April 17, 2014 12:48 PM
    All I can say in passing is where were the US of A and the UK on
    Gukhurahundi, where so many people lost their lives just to mention one of the tragedies in Zimbabwe. The UN ? well that is another story, best left alone.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora