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High Commissioner to visit Chad, Sudan

Briefing notes

High Commissioner to visit Chad, Sudan

21 September 2004

High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers on Thursday begins a five-day mission to Chad and Sudan, where he will get a first-hand look at UNHCR's efforts to protect and assist hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) affected by the ongoing crisis in the strife-torn Darfur region. Mr. Lubbers arrives late Thursday in the Chad capital of N'Djamena. On Friday, he will meet in the capital with government officials, UNHCR staff and partners before travelling in the afternoon to the town of Abéché, the headquarters of UNHCR operations in eastern Chad. Some 200,000 refugees have fled to eastern Chad from Sudan's neighbouring Darfur region. More than 170,000 of them are now housed in several camps in eastern Chad. On Saturday, the High Commissioner is scheduled to visit refugees at a camp near the Chadian town of Iriba.

He is scheduled on Sunday to travel across the border to the Sudanese town of El Geneina, where he will meet UNHCR staff and partners involved in operations in Darfur and hold talks with local Sudanese officials. Mr. Lubbers is also scheduled to visit a camp for internally displaced people in Darfur. Among other activities and as part of the joint UN effort in Darfur, UNHCR is fielding roving teams to map the presence of internally displaced people in border areas; supporting the construction of centres for IDP women in seven camps; and delivering urgently needed non-food items to IDPs from our regional warehouse stocks in Amman, Jordan. This week, seven USAID-sponsored cargo planes are scheduled to transport 20,000 UNHCR plastic sheets and 40,000 blankets to Nyala and to El Fasher in Darfur for distribution to IDP camps.

On Tuesday, Mr. Lubbers will have a series of meetings with government officials in Khartoum before returning to Geneva on Wednesday