The UN said Thursday more than 100,000 Sudanese refugees had fled to neighbouring Chad since the conflict in Sudan broke out over six weeks ago, bringing the tally to more than half a million.
Khartoum and other parts of Sudan have been gripped by warfare between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.
“The number of new refugees has passed the 100,000 mark” since fighting broke out on April 15, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said, as it appealed for emergency support.
Up to 200,000 others could be forced to flee to Chad in the next three months, the agency's representative in Chad, Laura Lo Castro, said in a statement.
With the rainy season approaching, UNHCR said it needed “massive logistical support” to move refugees from border areas for their safety.
Even before the conflict erupted, Chad -- one of the poorest countries in the world -- was sheltering 588,000 refugees, including 409,000 Sudanese who were mainly from the western region of Darfur, UNHCR said.
The agency said it needed $214.1 million to provide protection and vital assistance for all refugees and displaced people in Chad.
Of this, $72.4 million were needed for people fleeing the Sudan crisis.
However, just 16 percent of this target has been met, it said.