REFUGEES fleeing violence in the Central African Republic are continuing to die in significant numbers after reaching the relative safety of Cameroon, reports children’s charity Plan International.
About 116,000 refugees have now crossed into Cameroon since the start of this year, according to UN figures.
But many are dying after making the long and traumatic journey to Cameroon, according to the UN’s Office for the Co-Ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
“Children are continuing to die each day in Cameroon, having already survived massacres in the Central African Republic and travelled long distances with little or no shelter, food or water,” says Famari Barro, Plan’s Country Director in Cameroon.
It comes as political talks are held in Brazzaville, the Republic of Congo, on the disarming of militias and initiating ceasefire talks in Central African Republic itself.
“More than half of the refugees in the region are children under the age of 18 including unaccompanied minors and teenage mothers.
“Admission records in nutrition centres show that seven to eight per cent of admissions are infants less than six months old,” says Mr Barro.
Plan has built several boreholes in one of the camps, Mbile, as well as 16 latrines and 16 shower blocks.
Plan is also constructing areas where children can play and learn safely.
More than 2,000 families have already received hygiene kits from Plan, which contain soap, sanitary towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a bucket.
It has also distributed malaria prevention and treatment drugs to four health centres, as well as medicine to treat other infectious diseases.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org