Radio Dabanga (Hilversum)

17 May 2013

Sudan: UNHCR 'In Race Against Time' to Deliver Aid to Sudanese Refugees in Chad

Tissi — Following the displacement of tens of thousands of people from Sudan to Chad, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) says it is "in a race against time" to deliver aid to them before the rainy seasons begins.

In a press briefing on Friday, UNHCR spokesman Dan McNorton said the agency "is requisitioning aid for tens of thousands of Darfur refugees in eastern Chad amid fears that heavy rains will cut off access to the group".

This year more than 50,000 people, both Sudanese and Chadians who were living in Darfur, fled violent hostilities to Tissi, just across the border. Roads to the area become impassable during the rainy season lasting from May to November and the first rains have already fallen. The region has little infrastructure and new arrivals place a strain on the local communities.

UNHCR says it has procured enough aid to cover the needs of 3,000 families and additional supplies are underway to cover the needs of another 4,000. The refugees are mainly women and children and they urgently need shelter, food, clean water and medical assistance, the spokesman said. "They say that they fled because people were killed during the violence and that many houses were torched by armed men."

Earlier this month Médecins Sans Frontières drew international attention to the problem: "Humanitarian assistance is urgently needed before the looming rainy season cuts off road access to many areas ... time is running out".

The UN Agency says that on average, 300 refugees a day continue to cross into Tissi as communal tensions persist in Darfur. The new arrivals say that many more are on their way to Chad but that armed groups are preventing them from crossing the border.

Before the latest influx, there were some 300,000 Darfur refugees in Chad.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Radio Dabanga. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.