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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NDJAMENA282
2005-02-23 10:21:00
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Ndjamena
Cable title:  

REFUGEES IN CHAD: PRM/USAID VISIT TO TREGUINE,

Tags:   PREL  PREF  PHUM  KAWC  CD  SU  USAID 
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ACTION AF-00    

INFO  LOG-00   NP-00    AID-00   CA-00    CIAE-00  INL-00   DODE-00  
      DS-00    EUR-00   FBIE-00  UTED-00  VC-00    H-00     TEDE-00  
      INR-00   IO-00    L-00     VCE-00   M-00     AC-00    NEA-00   
      DCP-00   NSAE-00  NSCE-00  OIC-00   OMB-00   NIMA-00  EPAU-00  
      PA-00    PM-00    GIWI-00  PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     CFPP-00  
      SP-00    SS-00    TRSE-00  T-00     FMP-00   EPAE-00  IIP-00   
      SCRS-00  PMB-00   DSCC-00  PRM-00   DRL-00   G-00     SAS-00   
        /000W
                  ------------------BD1D91  231028Z /38    
FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 1022
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
DARFUR COLLECTIVE
USMISSION GENEVA 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI
						UNCLAS  NDJAMENA 000282 

SIPDIS


LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS, GENEVA FOR RMA,
ADDIS/KAMPALA/NAIROBI FOR REFCOORDS, DEPT FOR USAID/DCHA/FFP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF PHUM KAWC CD SU USAID
SUBJECT: REFUGEES IN CHAD: PRM/USAID VISIT TO TREGUINE,
BREDJING, AND FARCHANA CAMPS



1. Summary. PRM/AFR Mary Lange and USAID/FFP (DART) Suzanne
Poland traveled to the Adre region of Eastern Chad from
February 16-18 to visit the refugee camps of Treguine,
Bredjing, and Farchana and to meet with staff from UNHCR,
WFP, IFRC, Chadian Red Cross, MSF, Secadev, CORD, and CARE.
Camp population figures for the three camps are currently
around 15,000 for Treguine, 33,000 for Bredjing and 20,000
for Farchana; with the spontaneous arrival of refugees from
the border, these numbers are expected to continue to slowly
increase. UNHCR has identified a potential new site (Gaga)
between Abeche and Farchana to accommodate the overflow from
Bredjing and Farchana and any subsequent new arrivals. Basic
assistance to refugees was proceeding smoothly in all camps,
with NGO partners now capable of providing adequate (if not
yet always up to SPHERE standards) health care, water,
sanitation, and shelter to refugees. Education and community
services were slower to be implemented, but efforts are now
being made to establish more comprehensive programs in these
sectors.



2. The PRM/USAID team observed food distribution in all
three camps. Distributions were well organized in Treguine
and Farchana (less so in Bredjing). WFP only had sufficient
stocks for a 15-day ration of cereals (30 days of all other
commodities) but refugees seemed accepting of the shortfall
with the understanding that another 15-day ration of cereal
would be provided as soon as stocks arrived. WFP indicated
that by mid-March, sufficient cereals would be in place to
resume full rations. Of concern to all agencies was the
potential impact of drought in the border region and the need
to stabilize Chadian populations in situ to avoid their
coming to the camp and registering as refugees. USAID Poland
will send separate report at later date on recommendations
for assistance to Chadian host-communities. End Summary.



--------------------------


Camp Numbers and Capacity Issues


--------------------------





3. UNHCR,s latest official statistics for the refugee
camps, compiled by the Chadian National Commission for
Assistance to Refugees (CNAR) indicate 13,928 refugees in
Treguine Camp, 29,275 in Bredjing, and 18,914 in Farchana. A
new registration of refugees is planned for February 23-27 in
all three camps which, if similar to the registration
exercise in northern camps (septel), may eliminate some
duplication/fraud and significantly reduce population
figures. In addition to official camp residents, a number of
spontaneous refugees had arrived over the past month from
border areas including an estimated 3,500 in Bredjing and up

to 1,000 each in Treguine and Farchana. While Treguine had
the capacity to hold up to 15,000 refugees, both Bredjing and
Farchana were far over capacity with increased numbers
placing strain on available water, sanitation, and health
facilities.



4. UNHCR reported that it had final approval from the GOC
for a newly identified site (Gaga), about one hour from
Abeche. The camp is between Abeche and Farchana and could
accommodate 8,000 refugees from Farchana, 10,000 from
Bredjing, and up to 12,000 new arrivals as part of UNHCR,s
contingency planning. UNHCR has already contracted for the
sinking of wells, and drilling was reportedly underway.
UNHCR/Abeche and UNHCR/Ndjamena both expressed interest in
asking Africare to assume the camp-management role for Gaga,
and Africare staff in both Abeche and Ndjamena appear
receptive to becoming more involved in both refugee
assistance and more long term refugee and host community food
security programs in the Adre region. UNHCR currently
anticipates providing Africare with around $250,000 in 2005,
but significant additional support would be required from PRM
(for Gaga camp) and potentially USAID (for host community
assistance). USAID/DCHA/FFP is already funding Africare's
food security and nutrition education activities in the Adre
area through a five-year Title II Development Assistance
Program.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Basic Assistance at Treguine: Minimal but Meeting Needs


--------------------------



--------------------------





5. The PRM/USAID team visited Treguine Camp on February 17,
accompanied by IFRC and the Chadian Red Cross (CRC) which are
responsible for camp management, health care, food and
non-food distribution, education (with UNICEF), community
services, shelter, and logistics. Treguine is the newest
camp in eastern Chad, having only opened in late September.


Despite its newness, the PRM/USAID team was impressed with
the work of IFRC/CRC in quickly establishing basic services
for refugees. The team toured the IFRC/CRC health center
which appeared to be providing comprehensive services for
refugees, including outreach through community health workers
and traditional birth attendants. No major medical concerns
were reported, and IFRC,s vaccination campaign to contain
meningitis (5 cases reported) in January appears to have been
successful. The vaccination campaign included local
residents within an area of about 30 km radius from camp.
Global malnutrition, based on a December WHO study, remains
slightly high (11.3% according to WHO; 14% according to
Action Against Hunger) but severe malnutrition was only 1.1%.
Latrine coverage is up to SPHERE standards (1 latrine per 20
people) and water coverage (managed by OxFam) was reported at
18 liters/person/day. IFRC reported that both the education
and community services sectors are lagging behind but will be
a primary focus of efforts in 2005. The team visited briefly
the Treguine primary school, noting the intense desire for
education among children as well as adult women. UNICEF
support, while minimal, had begun to arrive in the form of
tents and basic school supplies. With other basic services
now relatively well-established, increased donor attention
should be focused this year on primary, vocational, and adult
education.



6. The PRM/USAID team also visited Bredjing Camp on February
17 with IFRC delegates. IFRC/CRC will be taking over camp
management of Bredjing from CARE International at the end of
February, per a recent agreement between UNHCR and IFRC. The
team sensed that very little planning had yet taken place for
this transition. IFRC staff were not yet very familiar with
the camp and relied on OxFam to provide a general tour of
Bredjing IFRC also noted that CARE intended to take most of
its staff with it, leaving IFRC to find new staff for
critical activities such as food and non-food distribution.
Health care in Bredjing will continue to be managed by
MSF/Holland. The team did not visit MSF,s health center,
but UNHCR staff in Adre expressed no major concerns about
health in the camp and WHO,s nutrition study showed
malnutrition rates of only 8% global and 1.1% acute
malnutrition. The team, accompanied by OxFam, primarily
focused on water and sanitation in Bredjing Latrine coverage
remains below standard at 1 latrine per 37 people, but OxFam
noted plans to continue to build additional latrines. Water
coverage was also below standard (10 liters/person/day) and
while OxFam reported no long lines for water this time of
year, it was clear that the camp water system (intended for
only 20,000) would come under increasing pressure as
temperatures rose. Camps services were also overtaxed by the
spontaneous arrival of some 3,500 refugees from border areas
in recent months. Now residing on the outskirts of the camp,
these new arrivals had been interviewed by CNAR and provided
food rations. However, UNHCR was reluctant to provide
shelter materials until refugees can be moved to a more
permanent location. With these new arrivals and the camp
already some 10,000-13,000 over capacity, the need for a new
camp for refugees was very apparent.



7. The PRM/USAID team visited Farchana Camp on February 18.
Farchana was the first camp established in eastern Chad for
Sudanese refugees. It was set up in December 2003.
Originally intended for no more than 6,000 refugees, its
population is now nearly 20,000 (including nearly 500
spontaneous new arrivals). The most pressing concern at
Farchana continues to be water, with only 9 liters of water
per person per day currently available. Unlike other camps
where water availability is also below standard, UNHCR
reported problems of long lines and even fights over water in
Farchana. The planned movement of 8,000 refugees from
Farchana to Gaga should help alleviate these problems.



8. Other sectors in Farchana appeared to be well covered.
Secadev (Secours Catholique pour le Developpement) was
responsible for camp management, food and non-food
distribution, water and sanitation (with OxFam support), and
education (with support from UNICEF and Jesuit Refugee
Service). MSF/Holland is responsible for health care,
including community outreach and training of traditional
birth attendants. No major health problems were reported.
CORD had begun to organize community services, including
activities for youth and women. CORD noted some reluctance
on the part of community leaders (mainly men) to some of its
proposed activities, including tree planting and
income-generating activities for women, but was intent on
pushing forward. (Comment: We note that concerns over
establishing activities that have "signs of permanence"


continue. End Comment.)



9. The PRM/USAID team had the opportunity to discuss with
UNHCR and WFP the work of PRM-funded partners (IFRC/CRC and
Secadev/CRS) in the camps. While UNHCR felt strongly that
neither had the capacity to take on camp management of the
new Gaga camp, both UNHCR and WFP expressed satisfaction with
the performances of IFRC and Secadev in terms of food
distribution and other services. IFRC appeared to have a
strong expatriate team (5) to support the CRC. Secadev as
well was benefiting from on-the-ground support from Catholic
Relief Services and Jesuit Refugee Service). PRM should plan
for continued support to both IFRC and CRS/Secadev in FY05.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Food Aid and Food Security: Camps and Local Population


--------------------------



--------------------------





10. The PRM/USAID team observed food distributions in all
three camps. The first blanket supplementary distribution
was successfully conducted at Treguine Camp and in
surrounding villages within 5 km of the camp on February 16.
IFRC and WFP will use lessons learned in this exercise to
fine tune the blanket supplemental distribution in the
Bredjing and Farchana camps that are to take place the week
of February 21. The blanket distribution targets pregnant
women (6-months or more along), lactating women and children
under five years of age or under a predetermined size (height
and weight) if age is unknown as recommended by the WFP
nutritionist.



11. General food distributions were proceeding well in
Treguine and Farchana camps with scooping method providing
rations directly to individuals and families. In Bredjing
camp, the distribution was also going fine but the CARE team
was still using the group distribution method in which
representatives of each block collect the food for the 10
families in that block and then divide the food among the
families. WFP and UNHCR have recommended that all
distributions use the scooping method and this will be
implemented in Bredjing camp when IFRC takes over the camp
management. There have not been any complaints from the
refugees in Bredjing camp about the group distribution
method, but WFP and UNHCR see the scooping method as a means
to avoid unfair division of commodities and to insure that
women and children receive their fair share.



12. The ration received in this distribution was incomplete
due to the fact that sufficient cereals had not yet arrived
to cover 30-day ration amount for all 200,000 refugees and
25,000 local beneficiaries in Eastern Chad. Every
beneficiary did receive a full 30-day complement of CSB,
vegetable oil, pulses, sugar and salt and a 15-day quantity
of cereal (sorghum). WFP plans to provide the remaining
15-day quantity of cereal as soon as the next convoy arrives
from Benghazi, Libya, estimated for end Feb/early March.
However, if there are delays in delivery, this would
essentially coincide with the mid-March regular food
distribution. The refugees at all three of the distributions
seemed to understand the situation, and there were no
apparent complaints or problems with the commodities and
amounts received.



13. Several NGOs expressed concern that the refugees have
not yet received in any distribution a full 2,100 kcal ration
for 30-days but have received closer to 1800 kcal per day in
15-day increments. WFP plans that the pipeline will furnish
sufficient commodities to provide a 30-day ration for
distribution in mid-March and plans to work towards the 2,100
kcal ration for the following months as the commodities
already in port are delivered overland through Libya and
Cameroon.



14. In all three camps, the presence of considerable number
of livestock was noted. The livestock that the refugees
brought with them provide a supplement to the ration received
from WFP and in a real sense this is part of the coping
strategy to insure food security for the refugee families.
IFRC census of livestock for Treguine camp, for example,
indicates that the 13,928 refugees brought with them 3,000
donkeys, 7,000 head of cattle, 3,000 goats and sheep and
about 200 camels. The IFRC team indicated that there are
regular slaughtering of animals including refugee-owned
livestock in the nearby local meat market and that refugees
often eat meat but had no specific data on how often or in
what quantities.




15. A specific food security assessment of the local
population was not carried out during this 3-day visit to
camps. The interagency mission on food security among local
populations that was conducted in November, 2004 reported
that there are pockets of food insecurity in the areas
surrounding these three camps. There are recommendations and
plans for Food for Work projects in the areas around these
three camps. The presence of large numbers of livestock is
putting pressure on the local resources of water, firewood
and pasture and this affects the food security and coping
mechanisms of the local population which numbers about
160,000 in the area surrounding the three camps.



--------------------------


Recommendations


--------------------------





16. The PRM/USAID team offer the following recommendations
for consideration by PRM and USAID Washington:

a. With basic life-sustaining services fairly well
established, the time has come to focus increased attention
on education and community services. Refugees are eager for
both basic education and new vocational skills. UNICEF,
while slow to start, is now supporting NGOs working in the
education sector. PRM should consider funding for UNICEF in
FY05, earmarked for education.

b. Continued PRM support is recommended for both IFRC/CRC
Bredjing and Treguine) and CRS/Secadev (Farchana). Both
organizations are doing well and are a critical component of
UNHCR's overall plan for assisting refugees in 2005.

c. IFRC and CARE need to quickly coordinate and plan for the
IFRC takeover of Bredjing camp by end February. Lack of
advanced planning could lead to a very disorganized
transitional period with negative ramifications on assistance
to refugees.

d. Should UNHCR decide on Africare as its implementing
partner for camp management in the new Gaga camp, PRM should
consider co-funding for Africare both for Gaga camp and for
agricultural/reforestation programs that could benefit both
refugees and host communities.

e. Given the impact of refugees and their animals on the
environment and host communities, UNHCR and partners will
need to consider alternative fuels/firewood sources as well
as water and forage options for livestock. Increased donor
support for projects assisting local communities will also be
required.



17. Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered.
WALL


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