Dakar- Senegal (PANA) -- Thousands of refugees who have fled violence and banditry in the Central African Republic (CAR) gathered in and around camps in neighbouring Chad, need emergency aid, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned Tuesday.
According to WFP press communiqué that reached PANA Tuesday, the UN agency has already started to feed about 32,000 long-term refugees in Chad from northern CAR.
However, an influx of 11,000 newly registered refugees since June led to a maximum use of resources to the extent that an additional $930,000 is now needed to ensure sufficient stocks at least until the end of June 2006.
"People arrive in a state of extreme poverty, badly needing emergency aid," Stefano Porretti, WFP country Director in Chad, said.
"We have been able to mount an immediate response with the stocks we have at our disposal, but food supplies are going to be exhausted at the end of the year, unless we receive new contributions.
They are part of Africa's forgotten refugees," he warned.
WFP supports long-term refugees in the two UN refugee camps of Amboko and Yaroungou with reduced rations since it has been possible to engage in farming activities in the latter camp.
However, for newly arriving refugees, this general distribution is not enough to cover their daily nutritional needs.
Refugees keep entering Chad aboard small makeshift boats, crossing the Nana-Markounda river that delineates the border while certain information indicate that others took refuge inside CAR itself.
Information relative to violence is scanty but refugees are telling stories concerning armed groups attacking villages, shooting indiscriminately and plundering everything in their path.
The conflict in northern CAR even pushed some 1,400 Chadian refugees to return home, with the assistance of UNHCR after 20 years of exile.
Efforts are currently being focused on immediate emergency aid to be brought for newly arrived refugees, but WFP and UNHCR are collaborating with the aim to improve the autonomy of refugees on a long-term basis.
The WFP Office in Chad also provides for the needs of 200,000 refugees fleeing conflict in the Darfur region in Sudan.
However, the operation suffers from a financial deficit of 68 percent worth $58.