More than 37,000 Chadian refugees who fled Ndjamena due to the fighting last weekend, received food aid from the World Food Programme on Saturday in Kousseri, Northern Cameroon, just across the river from Ndjamena.
Food distributions for Chadian refugees, mainly women and children who spent several nights in mosques, churches and schools buildings or in the open, were handled by the Cameroon Red Cross, in coordination with UNHCR and the local authorities in Cameroon.
More than 120 metric tons of sorghum, rice, beans and vegetable oil, were transported by road by WFP this week from Maroua, Ngaoundere and Meme to Kousseri.
WFP is also airlifting 37 metric tonnes of High Energy Biscuits as well as medical kits for the World Health Organization (WHO), from the United Nations Humanitarian depot in Accra Ghana (UNHRD). A second rotation will transport equipment for UNHCR.
A one-week ration was distributed to Chadian families (450 grams of cereals, 30 grams of enriched vegetable oil and 60 grams of pulses).
The humanitarian air service (UNHAS) managed by WFP has also started operating regular flights for the humanitarian community between Yaounde, Garoua and Maroua in Cameroon.
WFP CHAD Operations
Last week, fighting in N'djamena disrupted food arrivals in Eastern Chad. WFP hopes the security situation in Chad will ease quickly in order for food deliveries to resume as soon as possible.
Any significant delay could affect food distributions as early as March. Pre-positioning of food stocks in the East is crucial now before the 5 month rainy season, starting at the end of May.
February food distributions for some 235,000 Sudanese refugees in Eastern Chad started last week and are expected to be completed by the end of this week.
Twenty-five WFP international staff were relocated from Chad to Yaounde, Cameroon, last week for security reasons.
Some of them have been redeployed to Kousseri to handle the humanitarian response for displaced Chadians in Kousseri. Most WFP national staff remain in Chad to monitor WFP operations in the East, although their movements are limited by insecurity.
WFP operations in Chad continue to be managed by WFP's Country Director and four international staff in N'djamena and Abeche.