Togo refugee numbers rise

Briefing Notes, 24 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 24 May 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Refugees are still fleeing Togo and crossing into neighbouring Benin, but in Ghana the inflow has almost stopped, apart from one or two arrivals via informal crossing points. The total number of refugees in both countries is now 33,385 up from 31,964 on Friday. In Benin 18,241 refugees have been registered. On Monday 207 new arrivals were registered at the main border crossing point of Hilakondji and 173 in the capital of Cotonou.

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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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