UN: CAR refugees to exceed 350,000 by end of 2014

GENEVA - The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR predicts that the number of people uprooted by the crisis in the Central African Republic would rise to 362,200 by the end of 2014.

The agency announced in a press statement on Wednesday it was seeking, along with its partners, $274 million for those affected by the ongoing humanitarian crisis.

"As instability and violence continue to plague the Central African Republic, UNHCR and 14 other humanitarian agencies are asking donors to fund emergency operations in support of the growing number of people who have been fleeing from the CAR since December last year," the statement said.

The money was needed for exigencies such as shelter, food, health, and education, it said.

The agency said that nearly 200,000 Central Africans, third country nationals and returnees who escaped violence in the CAR over the past four months were now struggling to restart their lives in the impoverished countries of Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Congo.

It added the violence had had a devastating effect on civilians, with over 600,000 still displaced inside the CAR.

Since last December, thousands -- mostly Muslims -- have been killed in sectarian bloodletting throughout the country.

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