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Nearly 31,000 Togolese Refugees Now In Ghana/Benin

Nearly 31,000 Togolese Refugees Now In Ghana And Benin, UN Says

With the outflow of Togolese fleeing disputes over presidential elections slowing significantly, the United Nations refugee and food distribution agencies are making sure that host families in neighbouring Benin and Ghana can bear the burden of the nearly 31,000 refugees they have taken in.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that new daily arrivals in Benin now numbered 110 to 136, bringing its total to 16,158, while no new refugees had arrived in Ghana, where there already were 14,727 Togolese.

In the run-up to the 28 April elections in Togo, UN experts expressed concern about violent clashes between the parties, reports of restrictions on independent media and numerous allegations of irregularities in organizing the elections. The election itself was peaceful, but sporadic clashes broke out afterwards.

In conjunction with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Catholic Relief Services, UNHCR said it was boosting water distribution and sanitation services, including building new family and public latrines, in urban areas of Ghana where there was a high concentration of refugees.

It would extend this assistance to the rural South Volta region, it said.

A joint assessment mission visited refugee hosting areas over the weekend to find out how best to assist local clinics and hospitals facing overcrowding, UNHCR said.

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