Chad: Joint emergency assistance for 103 abducted children in Abeché, by ICRC, UNHCR and UNICEF

Published on alertnet.org, source UNHCR, Nov. 1, 2007.

… The unusual circumstances surrounding the children’s arrival in Abeché, required rapid action to ensure the protection of the children including the immediate provision of adequate shelter and other items. Considering the young age of most of the children and their needs, the three agencies and their partners – including volunteers of the Chadian Red Cross – committed themselves to help the Chadian authorities by providing food, mattresses, blankets, soap, clothes, toys, hygiene articles and medicines amongst other supplies.

With the best interests of the children as their main focus, the three agencies started to gather information on the identity, age and places of origin of the children. They interviewed the children individually and listened to their stories carefully to gain preliminary information on their family backgrounds. This initial data will help trace the children’s parents or relatives in order to reunify each child with his/her family and allow them to continue living a normal childhood.

Among the children there are 21 girls and 82 boys. The youngest is about one year old and the oldest about ten. So far, the interviews carried out with the children – some of whom could not provide any information due to their young age – led to the preliminary conclusion that most probably 85come from Chadian villages near the cities of Adré and Tine alongside the Chadian-Sudanese border.

During interviews with humanitarian staff, 91 children said they had been living with their family, consisting of at least one adult they considered to be their parent. Interviews with the remaining 12 children are ongoing to gather more information to trace their relatives … (full text).

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