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12th camp opened in eastern Chad

Briefing notes

12th camp opened in eastern Chad

3 May 2005

UNHCR and its NGO partners today (Tuesday) opened the 12th camp in eastern Chad for refugees from Sudan's Darfur region. The new camp - called Gaga - will ease overcrowding in some of the other camps and allow relocation of refugees still along the border with Sudan. Gaga is located near Adré, about 200 km east of eastern Chad's main city of Abéché. It is in the same area as the existing Breidjing, Treguine and Farchana camps.

Transfers to the new camp started this morning with the first refugees coming from the border where they had been living for the past three months. UNHCR had earlier offered to move them to another camp until Gaga opened, but they preferred staying at the border, hoping they could return to Darfur. We estimate that 700 to 1,500 refugees living at the border will be relocated to the new camp, followed in the near future by 6,500 refugees from Farchana and 9,000 from Breidjing camps, both of which are overcrowded.

The NGO, Africare, will manage the new camp, with Oxfam responsible for water and sanitation. The British NGO, CORD, will be involved in education and community services, while MSF-Holland will provide health services. Gaga camp is designed to shelter up to 25,000 refugees.

In a major logistical operation over the last 18 months, UNHCR has transferred over 200,000 refugees from the volatile border area to camps further inside Chad. Some 1.8 million people still in Darfur have also been uprooted by the conflict. Farchana was the first camp UNHCR opened in eastern Chad in January, 2004.