Aid for majority of largest group of refugees in West Africa threatened: UN

UNITED NATIONS— A lack of funding threatens assistance for most of the 575,00 refugees in Chad, the largest number of refugees in West Africa, a UN spokesman has said.


“The World Food Programme (WFP) may be forced to drastically cut assistance for up to 300,000 refugees from Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria and Cameroon,” said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.


“This means that by November, only 10 percent of the refugees WFP is targeting for assistance could receive food assistance due to the funding shortfall,” Dujarric said.


In addition to the 575,000 refugees as of last month, he said that the number of people displaced from their homes in Chad has more than doubled, from 169,000 in 2020 to 381,000 in 2022.


The spokesman said Chad also suffers from the worst flooding in recent years, impacting more than 1 million people. In support of the government’s National Response Plan for the floods, WFP provides food and cash assistance to affected families.


Chad is one of the poorest countries in Africa.


“The agency is telling us they need 102 million U.S. dollars to continue providing emergency assistance to cover the next six months to refugees and displaced men, women and children, as well as people most impacted by the floods,” said the spokesman.