Togo refugee outflow

Briefing Notes, 17 May 2005

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 17 May 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The flow of refugees from Togo into neighbouring Benin and Ghana is continuing to diminish, with the combined total of refugees in both countries nearly reaching 31,000.

In Benin over recent days, new arrivals registered at the main Hilakondji border crossing range between 110-136/day, whereas in Ghana no new arrivals have been reported. In Benin there are 16,158 refugees, and consolidated figures from Ghana which take account of arrivals through informal border points, show 14,727 refugees registered.

In Benin, 5,165 refugees are sheltering in the camps of Come and Lokossa, with the remainder staying with family and friends.

In Ghana, where virtually all refugees are staying with extended family, UNHCR, in conjunction with the World Food Programme and Catholic Relief Services is assisting with food distribution aimed at 2,500 people. We are also boosting water and sanitation services, such as constructing communal and family latrines, in urban areas where there is a high concentration of new arrivals. We are planning to extend this type of assistance to rural areas in the South Volta region where refugees are staying with host families. A joint health mission over the weekend to refugee hosting areas, is assessing how best to support local clinics and hospitals and ensure refugees have access to health services.

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UNHCR country pages

Benin: Influx from Togo

More than 30,000 people fled Togo to seek security in neighbouring countries when violence erupted with the announcement of election results on April 26, 2005. The outflow slowed in the ensuing weeks, but Benin and Ghana continue to register daily arrivals.

More than half of the refugees arrived in Benin, many through the main crossing point at Hilakondji. The majority stayed with friends and host families, while several thousand were moved from a church compound near Hilakondji to Come and Lokossa camps. More land is being cleared at Lokossa to accommodate more of the new arrivals. UNHCR and its partners are providing food and relief items and building sanitation facilities.

In Ghana, most of the Togolese are living with relatives and friends, but these host families are now running low on resources. Aid agencies are working to meet the increasing need to distribute food and relief items like mats, jerry cans, mosquito nets and soap.

Benin: Influx from Togo

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