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UNHCR launches special appeal for refugees in Africa

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GENEVA - As the African Union Summit continues in Mozambique, the UN refugee agency said today it planned to launch a special appeal covering unforeseen needs in seven different African countries, none of which has received much international attention.
UNHCR's 'All Africa Special Appeal,' totaling just over US$ 14 million, is designed to address a number of new situations involving the displacement of more than 100,000 people. All these have developed since the beginning of the year and were therefore not covered by the agency's regular budget.

Almost half the required sum is to provide emergency assistance to more than 40,000 refugees who fled to Chad from the Central African Republic earlier in the year.

In Kenya, extra funding is needed to pay for major repairs to two refugee camps that were badly damaged by recent heavy rains and floods, along with the relocation to higher ground of just under 17,000 refugees living in the most flood-prone area.

In neighbouring Uganda, extra money is needed to cope with 9,000 new refugees who have fled fighting and atrocities in the Bunia region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). UNHCR also intends to relocate 15,000 Sudanese refugees who were forced to flee their camp in northern Uganda by the repeated predations of the Lord's Resistance Army rebels.

The rest of the funds are needed for a variety of situations, including unexpected repatriations, in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Republic of the Congo (ROC) and the Central African Republic.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, has introduced the appeal at the 10-12 July African Union Summit in the Mozambique capital, Maputo, and it will be formally presented to donors next week in Geneva.

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