IOM is currently transporting over 125 metric tonnes of emergency assistance including plastic sheeting, sleeping mats, beds, mattresses and mosquito nets to an estimated 100,000 people displaced by fighting in north Darfur’s Jebel Amir district.
The assistance, which also includes primary health care and rapid response kits, medical tents, nutrition items for malnourished adults and children, cartons of soap and animal feed, is expected to reach the areas of Kabkabiya, Saraf Omra, Sireif and Ghara Zawiya from Khartoum by road in the next few days.
More than 100 people have been killed and some 70,000 have fled their homes in the Jebel Amir gold mining areas following clashes between the Beni Hussein and Aballa tribes over the control of several gold mines.
Labour migrants from neighbouring Chad have also been caught up in the fighting, with many fleeing to the West Darfur State town of El Geniena. IOM is particularly concerned about the plight of some 1,500 destitute migrants currently living without shelter or assistance. Others have found temporary refuge in some of the town’s mosques
IOM is also working with the Chadian authorities to provide assistance to Chadian gold miners who have crossed the border and are currently stranded in Adre, a mountainous area close to the border with Darfur.
“Many of the returning Chadian migrant workers lost all their possessions and had their money stolen during the fighting and resulting displacement in the Jebel Amir area,” says Qasim Sufi, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Chad. “Without the means to buy a bus ticket home, many remain stranded in remote and inhospitable areas.”
In coordination with UNOCHA and WFP, IOM is providing food for arriving migrants and onward transportation to their final destinations. As the migrants are arriving from a yellow fever-prone region, local health authorities are working with IOM to ensure that migrants are vaccinated before departure.