UN seeks additional $23 million to aid thousands more displaced in Chad

UN seeks additional $23 million to aid thousands more displaced in Chad

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With the number of people displaced by violence in eastern Chad nearly tripling in the past half year, to some 140,000 from less than 50,000 in November, the United Nations today appealed for $23 million in supplementary funds to cover their basic needs for the next three months.

With the number of people displaced by violence in eastern Chad nearly tripling in the past half year, to some 140,000 from less than 50,000 in November, the United Nations today appealed for $23 million in supplementary funds to cover their basic needs for the next three months.

“Not only has the growing displacement put pressure on already scarce natural resources in eastern Chad, it has stretched the humanitarian community’s ability to respond to needs within existing resources to the limit,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator Kingsley Amaning said.

He said the additional funding is needed to provide drinking water, shelter, food, farming seeds and basic health services to internally displaced persons (IDPs), as part of a 90-day emergency assistance plan developed by the UN and its partners.

“Time is of the essence,” Mr. Amaning stressed. “If we don’t act now it will be too late when the rains begin at the end of June; there will be limited access to the areas where most of the IDPs are.”

The emergency appeal does not replace the 2007 Consolidated Appeal for Chad, but instead fills gaps that have arisen, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) emphasized.

Displacement has been rising steadily in eastern Chad over the past year as fighting flares between the Government, militias and other armed groups, with much of the violence thought to be spilling over from the conflict in the neighbouring Darfur region of Sudan.

On 31 March alone, an estimated 400 people were killed and 9,000 displaced from the villages of Tiero and Marena during one such militia confrontation.