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UNICEF airlifts 81 tons of supplies to help the children of Darfur in eastern Chad

© UNICEF Chad/2004
Children and mothers will benefit from the new shipment of supplies.

N’DJAMENA, 19 August 2004 – This week, UNICEF is airlifting 81 tons of humanitarian aid to N’Djamena in eastern Chad. This airlift is part of the recently drafted 90-Day Emergency Plan (August-October), aimed at reinforcing UNICEF response to the Darfur crisis. The emergency supplies will help in providing a protective environment for Sudanese refugee children and also for Chadian children in host communities.

On Friday 20 August, an Ilyushin-76 cargo plane will bring 525 school-in-a-box kits and other school materials, 90 recreation kits, 20,000 syringes, and 44 cartons of safety boxes.

On Sunday 21 August, another air cargo plane will bring three tons of therapeutic milk (F-75), 28 tons of high-energy biscuits and 1.5 tons of calcium hypochlorite, which will be used for water treatment in the camp of Oure-Cassoni. A total of 1,300 community and households latrines will also be built in different refugee camps.

The total cost of these two shipments is $433,764 US dollars.

School materials are greatly needed to support the education of 60,000 Sudanese pupils in the region. Two hundred tents have been ordered for constructing temporary classrooms. At the moment, schools are operating in six camps for about 13,500 children; this is still far short of the necessary capacity.

Recreational materials will be used for pre-school children, for whom volunteers are organizing activities in the camps.

Working to combat malnutrition in Chad

UNICEF is also concerned by the high malnutrition rate discovered by the June nutritional survey. In addition to the therapeutic milk F-75 being airlifted in over the next few days, UNICEF is distributing one ton of a mineral and vitamin complex which will be used to prepare additional therapeutic milk – enough for 1000 children for three months.

More than 750 children are currently cared for by therapeutic nutritional centres in the area. Nutrition experts are currently in the region, assisting the centres and providing on-the-spot training to staff.

Sanitation in the camps is a concern

Another concern are the very poor sanitary conditions in the camps; there have already been a high number of diarrhoea cases. (Diarrhoea is a leading cause of child death in many countries.) Latrine facilities are still insufficient.

UNICEF is presently supporting the training of 400 members of the 94 refugee Hygiene Education Committees and will equip them with educational materials and with wheelbarrows, rakes and shovels. Twenty tons of soap have already been distributed, and  another 50 tons of soaps are being ordered.



Related links

Getting essential supplies to children: The work of UNICEF Supply Division

Sudanese refugee children in eastern Chad receive life-saving vaccines

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