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Chad: Insecurity hampers provision of humanitarian aid

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(N'Djamena / New York / Geneva: 03 November 2008): Worsened insecurity during October has caused a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the area of Dogdoré in eastern Chad, approximately 30 kilometres west of the border with Sudan. This has affected over 26,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) as well as members of local host communities.

"Humanitarian operations remain suspended in Dogdoré, with the exception of urgent activities such as responses to medical emergencies and the provision of drinking water," said Philippe Verstraeten, Programme Coordinator at the Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad.

Some humanitarian organizations had temporarily suspended almost all operations in the area last month, while reiterating their request to the Government to provide security for their staff and assets. The suspension affects, among other activities, the provision of health services, the supply of clean water, and the delivery of nutritional supplements to the most vulnerable.

While advocating for the continued assistance of the Chadian Government in providing security, humanitarians have also asked the United Nations Missions in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), which is mandated to protect civilians and to improve humanitarian access, to reinforce its presence in those areas closest to Chad's eastern border with the Sudan, including Dogdoré.

"I trust that the Chadian Government will step up its efforts to improve security conditions in those areas, in the interest of the protection of civilians, so that full-scale humanitarian operations may soon resume," said John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. "I call on the Government of Chad to work closely with humanitarians on these issues, and I furthermore call on all belligerent parties to allow humanitarian activities to continue without hindrance," he added.

Mr. Holmes is scheduled to travel to Chad later this year, amidst a humanitarian crisis which shows no signs of receding. Over half a million people, of whom over 315,000 are Sudanese and Central African refugees and nearly 180,000 IDPs, heavily rely on humanitarian aid for their survival.

For further information, please contact:

Maurizio Giuliano, Public Information Officer, United Nations, N'Djamena
Email: giuliano@un.org Tel: +235-6053892

Katy Thiam, Associate Information Officer, United Nations, Abéché, Chad
Email: thiamk@un.org Tel: +235-6201542

Claire Mulanga, Coach of the inter-agency Information and Communication Group, United Nations, N'Djamena, Chad
Email: mulangac@unaids.org Tel: +235-2520940

Stephanie Bunker, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), New York
Email: bunker@un.org Tel: +1-917-3675126

Elizabeth Byrs, Spokesperson, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Geneva
Email: byrs@un.org Tel: +41-22-9172653

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.