The World Food Programme (WFP) has provided emergency food assistance to about 100,000 newly-arrived Cameroonian refugees in Chad.
WFP said nutrient-dense High Energy Biscuits (HEB) have been distributed to 19,000 vulnerable mothers and children in the urban sites of Farcha and Ngueli.
It noted that it has also reached 80,000 people with cereals, pulses and vegetable oil across 28 sites in the Chadian cities of N’Djamena, Koundoul, and Mandelia.
The UN entity said the refugees were in dire need of humanitarian assistance after being forced to flee their homes due to inter-communal conflicts in north-eastern Cameroon.
‘With the number of refugees rising every day, we need to act quickly to ensure that families have access to food’, WFP Country Director for Chad, Claude Jibidar, said.
‘We need urgent funding [U.S.$14 million] to provide life-saving food assistance to these families’.
Recent violence between fishermen of the Musgum community and ethnic Arab Choa herders around the town of Kousseri has claimed several lives and displaced thousands.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), since August 2021, 19 villages have been torched, 40 villages abandoned, at least 45 people killed, and 74 others injured.
It is understood that water scarcity, as a result of climate change-induced drought, is the root cause of the violent clashes between the fishermen and the herders.
World Bank data shows that northern Cameroon is noted for intermittent droughts and floods which adversely affects agricultural productivity.
An assessment carried out by WFP and partners revealed that the refugees were forced to flee with nothing but the cloths on their backs and are in dire need of food assistance to survive.
The assessment also showed that from 30,000 people registered in the first week of December, the number has now grown to 104,000 men, women and children hosted in 33 sites across N’Djamena, Mandelia and Koundoul.
Funding shortages have forced WFP to provide just 50 percent of the standard daily food rations to refugees, the UN agency noted.
WFP also revealed that it is providing assistance to more than 500,000 refugees from Central African Republic, Nigeria and Sudan, as well as 234,000 internally displaced persons and 862,000 food insecure people affected by the climate crisis.
Photo source: UNHCR