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Chad: new contributions welcomed, more needed

Briefing notes

Chad: new contributions welcomed, more needed

11 June 2004

More than 93,000 Sudanese refugees are now at our camps inside Chad, away from the Chad-Sudan border. We are urgently moving more refugees to the camps, and are rushing to relocate refugees in the southern part of the border zone where rains have already started.

Transfers continue to move an estimated 15,000 refugees from Ade to Djabal camp, which now shelters 2,500 persons. So far rains in this area have been sporadic, but we need to speed up the relocation before they intensify and make the roads completely impassable. Water for refugees in Djabal camp is being trucked from wells 2 km away.

At the southernmost point of the affected border region, in the town of Tissi, the NGO Première Urgence has been distributing food for some 3,000 refugees who decided to remain in the town where they are well integrated with family members among the local population. Food from WFP has also been pre-positioned for the rainy season. Première Urgence reports that Tissi is now inaccessible because of the flooded river beds or "wadis".

Further north along the border, on Sunday, we are planning a convoy to bring some 200 to 250 people in the area of Birak to the camp at Mile. The refugees arrived two weeks ago, fleeing attacks by the militia in their villages in Darfur. They have been surviving on food they brought with them and have been staying near the village of Senette in huts former occupied by local residents.

In Iridimi and Touloum camps, a food distribution took place yesterday, providing one-month rations of sorghum, rice, beans, corn-soya-blend, oil and salt provided by the World Food Programme. Refugees who have arrived on their own at the sites also received the food, but only two weeks' worth because they will be moved to Mile camp very shortly. Once at Mile, they will receive rations for a month. In order to decongest some of the more crowded camps, we have been progressively moving refugees who came on their own to other camps where there is more capacity to accommodate them.

Some 7,000 tents airlifted to Chad from Pakistan are being delivered to the camps. So far, 2,000 have been taken to Goz Beida to be set up in Djabal camp, and 1,500 have been sent to Farchana to be erected in Breidjing camp. The remaining 3,500 have arrived in the capital and are being transported to the east for distribution.

We have now revised our budgets for Chad and will be launching an appeal for $55.8 million next week. This is an increase $35 million over our previous appeal for $20.78 million. The increased budget takes into account the ongoing arrival of new refugees in Chad and plans to help 200,000 refugees by the end of the year.

We have so far received some $18 million in donations to the operation this year - less than one third of the revised needs. While several new donations have recently come in, we need much more sustained donor support for this evolving crisis.

Every dollar counts in this effort. That's why we want to make special mention of a donation of $60,000 from the African Union, following a visit by the AU to the operation in Chad. The contribution reflects the positive cooperation between UNHCR and the African Union, as well as the AU's solidarity toward refugees in Africa.

New contributions have also come in from the EC ($1,838,235), the US ($1.2 million), Canada ($514,706), and Estonia ($39,163). We greatly appreciate all of these fresh contributions and urge donors to respond generously to the increasing needs in Chad.