Cameroon + 1 more

Humanitarian Action for Chadian Refugees in Cameroon - 15 Feb 2008

Headlines

- Reliable estimates on refugee figures unavailable, while UNHCR focuses on registration to start tomorrow.

- IFRC requests US$ 2.6 million to support the response of the Cameroonian Red Cross to the crisis.

- WFP has 336 MT of food available, to be distributed to refugees as they move to Maltam camp.

- Estimates indicate that moderate malnutrition affects 3% to 4% of refugee children.

- 35 latrines built in Madana temporary site, while up to 1,500 to be built in Maltam camp, under IFRC's lead.

- Over 5,000 refugees have received NFIs so far, while more NFIs arrive in Kousséri.

Context and overall developments

- Reliable estimates of refugees in Cameroon's north-eastern town of Kousséri are still not available. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its partners are focusing on the official registration due to start tomorrow, so that exact figures may be reached.

- Also tomorrow, UNHCR and its partners will start to offer refugees transport to the newly equipped camp in Maltam, 32 km from Kousséri.

Needs and response by sector

Coordination, Support Services, and Funding

- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched an appeal for US$ 2.6 million to its donors, to support the Cameroonian Red Cross (CRC) in the response to the crisis.

Food Security

- The World Food Programme (WFP) currently has a total of 336 metric tonnes (MT) of food available for distribution to the refugees, in an effort conducted in support of UNHCR's overall operation. The next round of distribution will happen as they move to the camp in Maltam.

Health and Nutrition

- The vaccinations against measles and poliomyelitis, which started on Wednesday 13 February, are ongoing and is still expected to be completed by Sunday 17 February.

- Although no systematic assessment of malnutrition has yet been conducted, it is currently estimated that 3% to 4% of refugee children suffer from moderate malnutrition. The UNICEF and its partners are due to establish nutritional surveillance and feeding centres for the refugees, once they are in the Maltam camp.

Protection

- The UNICEF continues to support the work of five psychologists, who are providing assistance to 58 orphans and other traumatised children.

- In order to identify potential additional orphans or unaccompanied children, the UNICEF intends to put mechanisms in place in this regard, once the refugees move to the camp in Maltam.

Shelter and non-food items (NFIs)

- So far, over 5,000 refugees have received NFIs. Most of these are being distributed in conjunction with the vaccination of children.

- A further truck, provided by UNICEF, has reached Kousséri yesterday with NFIs, comprising 8,500 bags of soap, 2,500 jerry cans, 2,000 buckets, and 2,000 tarpaulins.

Water and Sanitation

- Water committees are being put in place, to ensure the orderly distribution of drinking water to the refugees. The UNICEF is currently providing 96,000 litres of water per day.

- Thirty-five latrines have been built at the temporary site in Madana, out of 38 initially planned. The staff of IFRC has taken care of removing waste materials outside the latrines, in order to contain the risk of epidemics.

- The IFRC is, in parallel, working on the construction of latrines in the Maltam camp. Up to 1,500 latrines are to be built by the end of February, to cater for the needs of refugees who choose to move to Maltam.

Please visit the United Nations' inter-agency humanitarian website for Chad: http://ochaonline.un.org/chad

If you have inputs for the next edition, or questions and comments on this one, please contact:

Maurizio Giuliano, Public Information Officer, United Nations
Email: giuliano@un.org        
Tel: +237 79650182

Katy Thiam, Associate Information Officer, United Nations
Email: thiamk@un.org        
Tel: +237-79691303

For information specific to the following sectors, you may also contact:

Education, Nutrition, Water and Sanitation:
Silvia Luciani, Representative a.i., United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
Email: sluciani@unicef.org        
Tel: +237-75061112

Food Security and Livelihoods:
Magda Jurkowiecka, Reports Officer, World Food Programme (WFP)
Email: magda.jurkowiecka@wfp.org        
Tel: +237-99093218

Multi-sector assistance to Refugees, Emergency Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs), Protection:
Ann Maymann, Senior External Relations Officer, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Email: maymann@unhcr.org        
Tel: +237-94758434

Note:

For information on the humanitarian situation in Chad, please see separate information bulletins "Humanitarian Needs and Response in Chad".