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Cameroon – Refugees: Cameroon: WFP estimates $ 60 million in annual food needs of Central African refugees

An amount of $60 million has to be mobilized to cover each year the food needs of the approximately 260,000 Central African refugees with those of their host communities in the eastern and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon, reports the World Food Program (WFP).

On the scale of the diet of these populations, it’s a lot of money, we’re in the order of $60 million, so it’s very important to keep asking but at the same time begin to find ways to make these populations self-sufficient as far as possible,Abdoulaye Baldé, WFP resident representative in Cameroon told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Since the military coup in March 2003 of François Bozizé against the power of Ange-Félix Patassé, the first democratically elected president in the history of the Central African Republic (CAR), more than one hundred thousand nationals of this poor country and enclaved from Central Africa had fled to seek refuge in Cameroon.

This figure has exploded to about 260,000 with the recent Central African crisis due to the fall of the regime of the ex-chief of staff of the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) by the former rebel coalition of the predominantly Muslim Seleka in March 2013, after three months of fighting with the loyalist forces.

The French ambassador to Cameroon, Gilles Thibault, presented to the WFP on Wednesday in Yaoundé a grant of 560 million CFA francs (about more than 933,000 dollars) to support these Central African refugees as well as the vulnerable local populations in the regions of the East and Adamaoua where they are located, through food assistance and nutrition activities.

This assistance aims at strengthening the actions of the Cameroonian authorities and the United Nations agencies to reduce the vulnerability of the beneficiaries. However, the resources mobilized are insufficient to cover the needs, a situation that causes the reduction since half of the food rations distributed by WFP since November 2016, deplored the French diplomat.

Needs are indeed important” and without these food rations, these populations “can not survive,” he said, appealing to “other donors” for greater mobilization to respond to a situation characterized as humanitarian emergency.

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