348508_44124480466@N01.jpg Sudanese baby Africa Oil Watch: UN refugee agency underestimated number of refugees

Thursday, August 05, 2004

UN refugee agency underestimated number of refugees

August 5, 2004, report from Abeche, Chad says humanitarian agencies working in eastern Chad are bracing for another wave of Sudanese refugees.

The UNHCR and the World Food Programme have struggled against tremendous odds to feed the refugees.

Difficulties in delivering aid in a country that has no railroads, few paved roads, and only about 7,000 telephone lines have been compounded by the rainy season, which makes parts of the country virtually inaccessible by land.

The UNHCR initially underestimated the number of refugees. Plans were made to receive 72,000 refugees from Sudan. As of early August, 174,000 had arrived.

As a result, provisions that were expected to last six months have almost been exhausted, and the WFP will now make a new appeal for donations, said U.N. officials speaking on condition of anonymity.


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