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THOUSANDS of child refugees are severely malnourished or ill with disease after fleeing fighting in the Central African Republic, reports children’s charity Plan International.
Nearly 70,000 refugees have arrived in camps in East and Adamawa regions of Cameroon, with about 4 to 5,000 people crossing the border each week, according to UNHCR.
About 80 per cent of refugees are suffering from diarrhoea, respiratory infections or diseases such as malaria - and a fifth of children are severely malnourished, according to the Journal du Developpement.
Many have lost relatives who died of starvation on the way or shortly after arriving in Cameroon.
“The children are very vulnerable and at risk of death, with many suffering from acute malnutrition or in need of special attention,” says Barro Famari, Plan’s Country Director in Cameroon.
“Plan is looking at education, health and protection, to make sure activities are co-ordinated in the field,” he adds.
Plan is currently developing a six month plan to respond to the crisis.
The charity’s UK office has just secured a £30,000 grant from the Jersey Overseas Commission to help provide water, sanitation and hygiene for those living in the camps.
Thousands have fled the ongoing violence in the Central African Republic since rebels over-ran the capital Bangui in March last year.
The situation has continued to escalate over the past few months.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org