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

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid