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Chad: New round of airlifts for Darfur refugees begins today

Briefing notes

Chad: New round of airlifts for Darfur refugees begins today

29 June 2004

UNHCR is starting a new round of emergency airlifts today into Chad to bring urgently needed supplies for the tens of thousands refugees who have fled Darfur. Today, an Ilyushin-76 leaves Karachi in Pakistan for N'Djamena - the first of 22 flights which will bring 16,100 additional tents for Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad. The tents will be offloaded in N'Djamena and then trucked to the eight camps in the east. These flights are the latest in UNHCR's massive airlifts to Chad which have already brought in more than 1,700 metric tons on 40 flights from around the world.

On Thursday, UNHCR and its partners are planning to start a food distribution to some 30,000 refugees in the northernmost part of the affected border zone around Bahai and Cariari. This is the fourth food distribution in Bahai and third in Cariari so far and it will provide 15-day rations of rice, oil and beans from the World Food Programme. Unarmed gendarmes will be present during the distribution to help maintain order and avoid any security problems.

We plan to start moving the refugees in Bahai to the new site of Oure Cassoni near Cariari in 10 days. The International Rescue Committee has begun work on the site and the Chadian NGO, Projet Evangelique, has started digging four of the six planned wells. So far, 660 tents have been brought to the area to be erected at Oure Cassoni.

In all, more than 113,000 Sudanese refugees have so far been accommodated in the eight camps in eastern Chad.