International Development written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Roger Gale Roger Gale Conservative, North Thanet

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the short-term threat to the livestock of those refugees from Darfur who have crossed the border into Chad; and what plans the refugee agencies have for providing veterinary and other care to that livestock.

Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

The major influx of Darfuri refugees with livestock into Chad took place in 2004 and 2005. During this time, livestock suffered greatly with the long distances travelled, the sudden increase in stress on pastures and the lack of available water. Since this influx, UNHCR, with its implementing partners, have stabilised the livestock situation in and around the 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad. UNHCR estimate that there are approximately 60,000 animals owned by refugees in these areas and provides the owners with training sessions on animal breeding techniques as well as vaccination and treatment services and complementary livestock feeding in the dry season.

One outstanding difficulty is the deterioration of security and looting of livestock in recent months which is again hampering movement and increasing pressure on the local environment.

UNHCR has two main priority areas for livestock for 2007; vaccination and veterinarian care in and outside the camps, in cooperation with the Chadian Government's livestock delegation; and promoting the breeding of smaller animals (sheep and poultry) better suited to vulnerable refugees living in camps.

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