- The UN has called for international donor support for more than 100 projects in the Central African Republic to avert worsening the humanitarian crisis and diseases in the war-torn country. Severe malnutrition is on the increase.
According to the UN, more than one in every 10 people are acutely malnourished in the north-western part of the Central African Republic (CAR).
A nutritional survey carried out by the UN's Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in north-western CAR has revealed that 11.5 percent of the total population suffers from acute malnutrition, while the mortality rate for children under five years is now estimated at 2.7 deaths per 10,000 children.
"A therapeutic feeding centre in town of Bossangoa, capital of Ouham prefecture, has treated at least 487 children for severe acute malnutrition this year," the OCHA statement added.
The Central African Republic, one of world's poorest countries, continues to be plagued by humanitarian suffering, in part because of persistent unrest in the north. Rebels have targeted civilians in many of their attacks, displacing tens of thousands of people. Analysts believe the conflict to be a spill-over from Sudan's Darfur conflict.
Last week, the UN launched its annual appeal under the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) to help people in need worldwide, and the global total includes more than US$ 116 million for 105 projects in the Central African Republic. Those schemes aim to provide aid to 1 million Central Africans in urgent need of assistance.
Meanwhile, the top UN relief official has called for stronger refugee protection in the refugee camps in Chad, where both Central Africans and Sudanese a seeking shelter.
Wrapping his four days trip, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes who has travelled extensively to eastern Chad where 300,000 refugees from Sudan's war-torn Darfur region and CAR have been joined by some 180,000 Chadians, said there is a need for enhanced protection to safeguard lives of vulnerable refugees.
Mr Holmes said deployment of an Integrated Detachment for Safety (DIS)), a unit of Chadian police and other security forces being trained under UN programme, would ensure protection of refugees around camps in the east.
"I hope that this deployment of DIS and current consultations for replacement of European Union Force (EUFOR) in March 2009 by a United Nations force will help improve security situation in east of Chad, even if many challenges remain to be addressed," he said.
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