Camp opens for 15,000 refugees in Chad

On June 11, a new refugee camp was opened in Amboko, near Goré in southern Chad. The camp has a capacity for 15,000 refugees who have fled the fighting in the neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) and are unable to return due to a continued atmosphere of heightened insecurity.

Within the camp, - with 3,000 shelters and approximately five persons in each - MSF has set up and is maintaining a hospital and medical dispensary, as well as a screening centre which will conduct a retrospective mortality survey, nutritional survey, measles vaccinations and other medical screenings. MSF has also constructed a pump station and four wells to provide water for the camp.

"With thousands of refugees with no shelter languishing in nearby villages, the onset of the rainy season in Chad made the swift opening if the camp even more imperative," explained MSF operational co-ordinator Donatella Massai. "With the support of the Red Cross, yesterday the process of transporting the refugees got underway and, the first 129 people arrived at the camp for registration. From now on, we expect 300-500 new arrivals every day."

"One of the main worries at the moment is that there is a shortage of food for the camp," continued Donatella Massai. "Currently there are only 40 tonnes of cereal which will only last two weeks for 8,000 refugees. This is clearly insufficient and we are calling on the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to act fast to remedy this."

In southern Chad, MSF has constructed refugee camps at Goré and Danamadji with a total capacity of 4,000 and will be covering medical and sanitation in a further camp of 15,000 which is ready to be opened in Maro.

MSF is also supporting health clinics in a number of small villages around the border with CAR which are otherwise stranded in terms of access to health care, as well as providing water to those areas most in need. Currently, the MSF team comprises of 20 expatriate staff, 50 national staff and around 500 daily workers.