UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 4 (Xinhua) -- UN agencies and their humanitarian partners need to increase aid to Nigerian refugees in neighboring Cameroon, Stephane Dujarric, the chief UN spokesman said on Monday.
"The response needs to be scaled up significantly to cope with the influx of people, with many refugees reluctant to return to Nigeria's Rann area or any other camp in Ngala without assurances of their safety and security," he said.
"Aid workers are working with authorities to protect the refugees' right to asylum and to relocate them to safer areas away from the border," Dujarric told reporters at a regular briefing.
He said that Allegra Baiocchi, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Cameroon, and representatives from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and local authorities, visited the Goura refugee site in the far north of Cameroon, adjacent to northeast Nigeria where government troops have been clashing with terrorist groups.
Some 35,000 Nigerian refugees have fled into Cameroon.
"Aid organizations are providing food, shelter and water and sanitation, among other services," Dujarric said.
"At the end of January, the World Food Program (WFP) began distributing food for 13,500 Nigerian refugees," he said, adding that the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Cameroon seeks financial aid to assist 2.3 million vulnerable people.