UN agency distributes emergency supplies as floods strike Chad

Women at Ouré Cassoni refugee camp in eastern Chad

13 August 2010 – The United Nations refugee agency is delivering emergency assistance to thousands of flood victims in Chad, where entire villages have been destroyed and cultivated land ruined by the country’s heaviest rainfall in 40 years.

About 2,500 families have received blankets, bed mats and plastic sheeting so far, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards told reporters today. The assistance is part of wider relief efforts involving the Chadian Government, other UN aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Mr. Edwards said large areas of Chad have been affected by the floods, which follow torrential rains that have fallen since mid-July. No region has been spared, with the far north, the south-east and some districts of the capital, N’Djamena, among the areas hardest hit. Up to 9,000 people are estimated to have been affected.

Relief efforts have also been hampered by the poor state of Chad’s roads – many humanitarian vehicles have been washed away by raging waters in normally dry river-beds and some areas remain cut off by the inundations.

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