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.