UN Agencies Calls to End Suffering of Women, Children Fleeing into Cameroon

Rome, June 04 (QNA) – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) on Wednesday called for ending the suffering of thousands of malnourished refugees as well as sick women and children fleeing violence from Central African Republic (CAR).

According to UNHCR and WFP, almost 90,000 people have fled across the border between CAR and Cameroon since December last year.

At present, acute malnutrition rates among refugees are between 20 and 30%, well above the emergency threshold of 15%.

WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres stressed the dire plight of the most vulnerable arriving in Cameroon from CAR exhausted, often acutely malnourished and sick.

“Women and children are arriving in Cameroon in a shocking state, after weeks, sometimes months, on the road, foraging for food. This is the most recent tragedy resulting from the escalating bloodshed that has torn CAR apart,” Cousin said in a statement.

She urged that all sides must act and intervene to save lives and prevent a worsening situation.

“Many of the people we are trying to help are starved and dangerously ill, meaning that the challenge is much more than just ensuring safe haven – it’s about trying to save people’s lives after they arrive,” Guterres noted.

The two UN heads said in Rome that while WFP and UNHCR were saving lives, funds were nearly exhausted as the number of refugees continues to grow with each new round of fighting inside CAR.

WFP has provided 30-day general food rations to 44,700 refugees and stateless people since 22 May. In response to the grim condition of many new arrivals from CAR., WFP began in early May distributing specialized nutritious food at some entry points and refugee sites. (QNA)

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