Aid agencies suspend work in eastern Chad because of insecurity – UN

7 October 2008

Rising banditry across eastern Chad has forced several aid organizations to temporarily suspend their work, the United Nations humanitarian wing reported today, warning of the effect this is having on internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said several of the aid agencies have become victims of banditry lately, with more than 120 separate incidents reported against such organizations reported since the start of the year.

An estimated 37,000 IDPs living in Dogdore and Ade could be without health care, food assistance, water and sanitation services unless the security situation improves, according to OCHA.

Heavy rainfall in eastern Chad has also damaged roads and limited aid workers’ access to people in need, exacerbating the effect of the worsening insecurity.

UN humanitarian agencies are already involved in flood relief efforts in southern Chad, where at least 40,000 people – particularly in and around the town of Sarh – have been in need of outside assistance since a month of torrential rains lashed the region starting in late July.

OCHA is sending a mission next week to southern Chad to study possible ways to set up an early warning system for natural disasters such as floods.

Meanwhile, Chad’s First Lady Hinda Deby Itno took part in yesterday’s opening in the national capital, N’Djamena, of a three-day UN workshop on gender-based violence faced by IDPs and refugees in eastern Chad.

The workshop, organized by the UN Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (known by its French acronym, MINURCAT), was attended by senior Government officials, foreign diplomats, representatives of international organizations and members of civil society.

MINURCAT has been tasked by the Security Council with protecting refugees and IDPs across eastern Chad and north-eastern CAR, which have both been beset by widespread violence and civilian displacement in recent years.


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