"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," said the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Kingsley Amaning. "We need additional funding in order to provide safe drinking water, shelter, food, farming seeds and basic health services for the displaced. Time is of the essence, 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", Mr. Amaning added.
Over the past six months, the number of people internally displaced in eastern Chad has more than doubled -- from less than 50,000 in November 2006 to some 140,000 today -- mainly due to growing insecurity caused by increasing violence and military activities in eastern Chad. At the same time, insecurity is making access to the internally displaced and other vulnerable groups more difficult and increasing the need to provide protection to the internally displaced and other vulnerable groups.
In just one recent example, on 31 March 2007, more than 9,000 people were displaced in a confrontation between rival militias, while an estimated 400 people were killed in these attacks on the villages of Tiéro and Maréna.
As the humanitarian situation is unlikely to improve in the short term, humanitarian partners have developed a 90-day IDP Emergency Assistance plan, which serves as the basis for today's appeal. The plan, which was developed on the basis of extensive discussions between internally displaced persons, administrative and traditional authorities, United Nations agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other humanitarian partners, prioritizes action in the areas of protection, water and sanitation, food security, shelter, health and nutrition, education, logistics and coordination.
Today's appeal is designed to address gaps in the existing response in a timely manner, ahead of the coming rainy season. It does not replace the 2007 Consolidated Appeal (CAP) for Chad, but seeks to complement and build upon it. A longer-term strategy to address the needs of the internally displaced in Chad will also be developed.
For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Kristen Knutson, OCHA-New York, +1 917 367 9262; Elisabeth Byrs, OCHA-Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile, +41 79 473 4570. OCHA press releases are available at http://ochaonline.un.org or www.reliefweb.int.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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