UN LAUNCHES APPEAL FOR SUDANESE REFUGEES IN CHAD

2 April 2004
AFR/880-IHA/886

UN LAUNCHES APPEAL FOR SUDANESE REFUGEES IN CHAD

02/04/2004
Press ReleaseAFR/880 IHA/886

UN LAUNCHES APPEAL FOR SUDANESE REFUGEES IN CHAD

New York, 2 April (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) -- Today, the United Nations launched a new appeal for over $30 million to provide aid to Sudanese refugees in Chad during 2004.

Because of the ongoing conflict in Darfur, some 110,000 Sudanese refugees are estimated to have fled to Chad from fighting in the Darfur region of western Sudan.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is mounting a major logistical operation to establish camps and transfer refugees away from the border zone, where they have been subject to attacks by armed militia crossing over from the Sudan.  The conflict has spilled into Chad as well, with cross-border raids that have killed Chadian civilians.  In all, 15,428 refugees have been transferred to the five camps opened to date.

Many people in the border region live exclusively off their livestock.  For those Sudanese who were able to escape with some of their livestock, many are now watching the animals starve to death.  The fighting in Darfur has disrupted people’s system of finding adequate pasturage and water in the vast, arid region.  Water in the region is not sufficient for the refugee population, much less their livestock.  Water scarcity poses a considerable challenge in relocating the refugees in camps away from the volatile border area, where militia raids continue.

The appeal seeks funding to provide immediate assistance to 110,000 people in eastern Chad.  In addition, the appeal aims to reinforce the coping mechanisms of the refugees and their host community members to make them less dependent on humanitarian aid.

The appeal includes 14 projects submitted by seven United Nations agencies and one non-governmental organization, working in cooperation with local communities, national authorities, eight international and national non-governmental organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Chadian Red Cross.

This appeal may be revised based on assessments that are more detailed and in light of future developments related to the evolution of the humanitarian situation in the Darfur region.

For further information, please call:  Stephanie Bunker, OCHANY, tel.: 917 367 5126, mobile: 917 892 1679; or Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA Geneva, tel.: 41 22 917 2653, mobile: 41(0) 79 473 4570.

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For information media. Not an official record.