(Reuters) – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said on Tuesday that food aid to 1.4 million people in Chad, including newly arrived refugees fleeing violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, will cease as of January because of a shortage of funds.
Financial constraints and soaring humanitarian needs have already forced the WFP to suspend assistance to internally displaced people and refugees from Nigeria, Central African Republic, and Cameroon from December, it said.
From January, those cuts will extend to people in crisis in Chad, WFP said in a statement.
More than 540,000 refugees have crossed from Sudan into Chad since war erupted seven months ago between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), according to the International Organization for Migration.
Many have fled from West Darfur, where ethnically driven violence and mass killings erupted again this month in the state capital El Geneina, pushing thousands more people to flee.
“It is staggering but more Darfuris have fled to Chad in the last six months than in the preceding 20 years,” said Pierre Honnorat, WFP’s Chad country director.
“We cannot let the world stand and allow our life-saving operations grind to a halt in Chad.”
WFP said it requires $185 million to support people in Chad for the next six months.
(Reporting by Hereward Holland; Editing by Sharon Singleton)