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Refugees' plight: "More are arriving each day"

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Refugees' plight: "More are arriving each day"


More than 16,000 refugees at the camp at Choucha on the Tunisian-Libyan border are trying to adjust to their new conditions.

It is becoming a daily routine with no guarantees that it will end soon.

Many are foreign workers who left their jobs to flee the fighting.

The camp is run by the Tunisian authorities and the UN. The Red Cross has plans to set up another camp nearby.

“Conditions in the camp continue to improve from the first day. We’re still trying to improve that, particularly on the water and sanitation – as you see we’re putting up warehousing facilities, we’re trying to reorganise the blocks (of tents), we’re trying to collect the garbage in the camp,” said Ayman Gharaibeh, the UNHCR team leader.

More tents are being put up in anticipation of more refugees arriving. Islamic charities are also on site, feeding people and cleaning.

Health is a constant concern and is being monitored.

“I can confirm that there are no serious health problems or epidemics, of cholera or anything else. The health situation in the camp is under control,” said Colonel Fethi Bayoudh, a doctor with the Tunisian army.

Clean-up operations are organised each day; taps have been installed all over the camp.

Many Egyptians have been airlifted home; others like Bangladeshis have nowhere to go.

euronews’ correspondent Jamel Ezzedini at the camp said:

“All the organisations who’ve spoken here at the Choucha refugee camp say the situation is under control – although there’s a need for more sanitary equipment. This thanks to the efforts of everyone here, with the solidarity of the Tunisians especially appreciated. However there are fears that these refugees won’t be repatriated in the days to come – yet more are arriving each day.”

An estimated 100,000 Libyans and foreign workers are estimated to have crossed the border into Tunisia over the past three weeks.

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