UN urges more aid for refugees in Chad

ABECHE – Aid agencies have received only a fraction of the funds required to help a quarter of a million people displaced by conflict who are living in deserts in eastern Chad, the U.N. humanitarian chief said on Wednesday.

“Only 16 percent of the humanitarian funds requ

ired to feed these people has been met so far,” Jan Egeland said during a visit to Chad. Aid agencies are seeking almost $180 million.

Some 200,000 Sudanese have fled into Chad from fighting in Darfur. They have been joined this year by 50,000 Chadians displaced by fighting between the Chadian government and rebels. Egeland said the security situation in eastern Chad was in “total chaos” as the long and porous border between Sudan and Chad is crossed by many armed groups which loot villages in the area.

Chadian government troops launched a military offensive in eastern Chad in March against rebels opposed to President Idriss Deby.

Chad has accused Sudan of sheltering the rebels in western Sudan, where Sudanese rebels have been fighting the Khartoum government in a separate conflict.

Khartoum and the main Darfur rebel faction signed a peace deal last week to end three years of fighting that has killed tens of thousands and forced 2 million from their homes into camps. — Reuter