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UNHCR Emergency Team Arrives In Chad - 2003-12-31

An emergency team from the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, arrived in Chad Wednesday. The team was sent to assess the refugee situation in the eastern part of the country. It’s expected to be in eastern Chad on January 3rd.

About 95,000 Sudanese have crossed the border to escape fighting between militias in Sudan’s Darfur region. Helene Caux is a spokeswoman for the UNHCR. From N’djamena, she spoke with English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua.

She says the emergency team will look for locations to set up refugee camps far enough from the border to protect the refugees from cross border raids. One location where work has begun is in Farchana, about 70 kilometers from the Sudanese border. About 15,000 people will be housed there when the camp is complete.

She says the immediate needs is to provide blankets because the nights are very cold. The World Food Program is providing the food. The UN agencies are working with the government of Chad in the humanitarian operation.

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