The United Nations World Food Programme is providing a new round of food assistance to 20,000 Chadian refugees in northern Cameroon as they are transferred by the UN refugee agency from a transit site near the border to a camp.
So far, a 10-day ration of High Energy Biscuits, pulses, cereals and vegetable oil have been given to more than 2,400 refugees on arrival at Maltan camp, 32 kilometres from Madana transit site in Kousseri. WFP’s partner the Cameroon Red Cross distributes the food to new arrivals daily.
More than 37,000 Chadian refugees, who fled into Cameroon from the Chadian capital of Ndjamena because of fighting, received food rations for a week from WFP on 9 February at Madana transit site in Kousseri, just across the river from Ndjamena.
As the security situation has eased in Ndjamena, many people began returning to the Chadian capital last week. But many other families do not feel ready to go back yet. Most of the refugees lost their household goods and food during looting in Ndjamena.
WFP airlifted more than 37 metric tons of biscuits, as well as World Health Organization medical kits and 17 tons of UNHCR items including tents, sleeping mats, sanitary tissues and soap on 10 and 11 February from the UN Humanitarian Depot in Accra, Ghana.
Eight tons of WFP prefabricated living and office accommodation, generators and warehouse scales were also airlifted.
In response to the crisis, the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), which is managed by WFP, is providing flights for the humanitarian community between Yaoundé and Maroua/Garoua five times a week, and from Yaoundé to the eastern Chadian town of Abeche three times a week.
Regular flights between N’Djamena-Abeche resumed on 11 February.
WFP urgently needs funds to repay a US$500,000 internal loan for the Cameroon operation. More funds will be needed for a longer emergency operation that is being prepared to assist the Chadian and CAR refugees in Cameroon as well as vulnerable Cameroonians living near the Chadian border.
WFP Chad Operations
Ndjamena is currently reported to be calm. Although there were reports of widespread looting, the WFP office is secure and there have been no losses from the WFP warehouse in the city. On 11 February, the UN approved the return of essential staff to Ndjamena.
Some 10,000 new refugees from CAR are reported to have crossed the border into Chad. The refugees are reported to be in urgent need of food.
WFP will ensure emergency food distribution for the refugees once they are transferred to the refugee camps. But additional funding is required to ensure continued WFP food assistance for CAR refugees in Chad.
WFP provides food assistance for 235,000 Sudanese refugees and over 150,000 displaced people in the East and 46,000 refugees from CAR in southern Chad.
Despite security constraints, WFP managed to complete its February distributions for the Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad and has provided the internally displaced people with their February rations. Food dispatches from WFP in Ndjamena and Abeche are ongoing.
Trucks stranded on the Kousseri road for a week after the fighting in Ndjamena have started moving again.
Some trucks loaded with WFP food are also en route from Cotonou in Benin and from Douala in Cameroon on their way to Chad.
Pre-positioning of food is crucial in eastern Chad at this time of year, as food stocks need to be in place before the start of the rainy season in June.
WFP urgently needs an additional US$54 million to ensure continued assistance to refugees Sudanese and Chadian displaced until the end of the year.