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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Forced Anal Testing Case to Appear Before Kenya Court

    Men challenge use of anal examinations to ‘prove homosexuality’; practice accomplishes nothing except to humiliate those subjected to them, according to Human Rights Watch

    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.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora