The World Food Programme warned today that insecurity in Chad may disrupt the dispatch and arrival of food assistance for more than 400,000 Sudanese refugees and displaced Chadians unless the situation swiftly stabilises.
Any delay in delivering food may also hit the pre-positioning of food for refugees and displaced in eastern Chad ahead of the five-month rainy season starting in June.
WFP provides food assistance for 235,000 Sudanese refugees, 150,000 displaced people in the east and 46,000 refugees from the Central African Republic in southern Chad.
WFP has completed its January distributions for the 235,000 refugees with nearly 4,000 metric tons of food and has already provided the internally displaced people with their February rations. WFP has a total of 12,500 tons of food stocks in Chad.
However, thousands of Chadians are also fleeing Ndjamena to the bordering town of Kousseri in Cameroon. WFP Cameroon has sent a team to Kousseri to assess the needs and plans are being made to deliver WFP food by road or air and increase logistical capacities.
WFP has relocated 21 WFP international staff to Cameroon because of heavy fighting in the Chadian capital Ndjamena.
The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), managed by WFP, flew 53 UN staff including 10 WFP staff to Yaounde, Cameroon, on 2 February and 11 WFP international were flown by the French air force on 4 February to Libreville, Gabon, and were then relocated onto Yaounde by UNHAS.
More than 200 WFP staff remain in Chad to monitor WFP operations in the east, although their movements are limited by insecurity. WFP operations continue to be managed by the WFP representative in Ndjamena and five international staff still in Abeche.