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UNICEF airlifts 81 tons of supplies for Darfur refugees in Chad

N'DJAMENA, 20 August 2004 -  In order to accelerate its humanitarian aid for the Darfur refugees in eastern Chad, UNICEF is airlifting 81 tons of emergency supplies by special cargo this week to N’Djamena. An Ilyushin-76 has just landed in N’Djamena carrying 525 school in-a-box kits and other school material, 90 recreation kits, 20,000 syringes, 44 cartons of safety boxes. Tomorrow, Saturday 21 August, another cargo plane will ship three tons of therapeutic milk F-75, 28 tons of high-energy biscuits and 1,5 ton of calcium hypochlorite. The total cost of these two shipments is US$ 433,764.

This airlift is part of the recently drafted 90 Day-Emergency Plan (August-October) aimed at reinforcing UNICEF response to the crisis, in order to ensure a protective environment to Sudanese refugee children and to Chadian children in host communities.

School material is very much needed to accelerate the schooling of 60,000 Sudanese pupils. 200 tents have been ordered for temporary classrooms. At the moment, schools are already operational in 6 camps with about 13,500 children, which is far from covering all educational needs.

Recreational material will be used for pre-school children for whom volunteer mothers already organize activities in the morning in four camps.

UNICEF is also concerned by the high malnutrition rate revealed by the nutritional survey carried out in June. To address this situation, UNICEF is distributing one ton of a Mineral and Vitamin Complex which, mixed with normal milk, will provide therapeutic milk for 1000 children for 3 months. More than 750 children are currently cared for in the different therapeutic nutritional centers. The new supply of therapeutic milk F-75 will cover the needs for 1000 children for 6 months. An expert in nutrition is presently in the field to assist therapeutic nutritional centers, improve therapeutic protocols and give an on-the-job training to the staff.

Another concern is the sanitary conditions in the camps that remain very poor and cause a high number of diarrhea cases. Sanitation facilities are still insufficient, but the camp staff also noticed that many refugees do not use the latrines available. UNICEF is presently supporting the training of 400 members of the 94 refugee Hygiene Education Committees and will equip them with sensitization material as well as wheelbarrow, rakes and shovels. 20 tons of soap have been distributed to 54,000 refugees and another 50 tons of soaps are being ordered for 105,000 refugees. Supply of hypochlorite will be used for water treatment in the camp of Oure-Cassoni camp. A total of 1300 community and households latrines will also be built in different refugee camps.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Jaulmes, Communication Officer, cjaulmes@unicef.org
UNICEF-TCHAD, Tel 00 235 - 51.89.89 Cell : 00 235 - 29 56 48

Margherita Amodeo, UNICEF Media, Dakar
+221 869 5842 or cell.+ 221 569 19 26




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