The Chadian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) marked the World Refugees Day on Saturday, June 20, 2020 donated anti-COVID-19 equipment to some medical facilities housing refugees in Chad.
The materials, valued at more than three million FCFA (about 6,000 dollars) included surgical masks, gloves, liquid soap, camel water, hydro-alcoholic gels and antiseptics used in the washing hands were handed over at the Good Samaritan University Teaching Hospital at Walia Quarter in the 9th District of N’Djamena.
Besides the gifts donated by the UNHCR, an association of female refugees and some Chadians distributed face masks they made themselves free of charge to some refugees while some were sold to non-refugees, all as their own contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on the occasion, the Assistant Representative of UNHCR in-charge of Protection in Chad, Madam Iris Blom, paid homage to the communities that had welcomed and housed refugees thus demonstrating the values and principles of universal compassion and humanity.
She saluted the courage of refugees and displaced persons the world over, noting that Chad had been welcoming and housing refugees for decades and generations.
She said that defending humanitarian values even during a pandemic, was a strong message of hope and solidarity.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken another dimension among the vulnerable groups, especially refugees and displaced persons who already face poverty and are forced to live in over-populated camps that are very fertile breeding grounds for coronavirus.
By May 31, 2020, the population of persons registered as refugees and displaced persons by the UNHCR in Chad stands at 818,498 with 473,961 (58 per cent) registered as asylum seekers.