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Chad: UNHCR and partners in race against rains

Briefing notes

Chad: UNHCR and partners in race against rains

18 June 2004

More than 106,000 Sudanese refugees have now moved from the Chad-Sudan border to our eight camps further inside Chad.

At Iridimi camp, refugees this week began moving into tents from the transit centre part of the camp. The refugees had been staying in temporary shelters built from plastic sheeting we distributed when they arrived on the site, and branches they collected in the area. Our priority has been to move the refugees as quickly as possible away from the border for security reasons, and so temporary accommodations were made on some of the sites until the camps could be made fully ready. So far at Iridimi, our partner Norwegian Church Aid has erected 300 five-person tents and the work is continuing. There are presently 15,008 refugees in Iridimi, all of whom will progressively move to tents.

Today, we and our partners are transferring 66 tons of WFP food (corn soya blend, rice, oil, and beans) to Am Nabak where we are planning to open a camp. Some 3,000 refugees have already arrived on their own at the site, and the food supplies will be distributed to them in the coming days. The rations should be enough to last the refugees for one month. The refugees have walked to Am Nabak from the border towns of Ogona and Tine. Our partners are working with us to open the camp as soon as possible. CARE will handle camp management, IMC will cover health needs, Oxfam will deal with water and sanitation, and GTZ will do the camp construction work. At this point, we are working on every front at the border to move refugees as fast as possible to beat the rainy season which will make the roads impassable for our trucks. At the same time, we are doing our best to assist people who move on their on to sites further inside Chad while we are trying to increase our convoys from the border to camps.

Meanwhile, we have now completed our latest airlift into Chad with the last flight from Tanzania arriving in N'Djamena on Tuesday. So far this year, we have brought in 40 flights from Tanzania, Pakistan, Denmark, Germany and Gibraltar with over 1,700 metric tons of aid for the refugees in eastern Chad.