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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid