World Vision closes office in N'djamena as rebels advance

    N'DJAMENA, Chad, Feb. 3 /CNW/ - Rebel attacks on the capital city of Chad
have forced international aid agency World Vision to close its office in
N'Djamena amid fears that the political crisis was quickly turning into a
humanitarian one.
    "We did not expect things to happen this quickly. Many people have been
killed," said Levourne Passiri, national director of World Vision Chad. "World
Vision is hoping for calm so that crucial relief and development work across
the country can continue."
    Passiri says the situation in N'Djamena is deteriorating as rebels
advance into the city. Rebel attacks are now centered on the presidential
    World Vision's priority at this point is the safety of civilians and
relief staff in the capital, as well as its 200 staff members across the
country. The agency's work in the central and southern parts of the country
has also been disrupted as staff members have been forced to restrict their
movements amongst security concerns.
    World Vision has worked in Chad since 1985 and currently serves some
400,000 people. Community development programs are located in central and
southern Chad, and are currently stable and not affected. Programs focus on
health and nutrition, education, HIV prevention, water and sanitation, micro
credit loans, and agricultural development.
    World Vision donors support 30,000 children in Chad, including more than
15,000 children sponsored by Canadians.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity or gender.

For further information:

For further information: World Vision staff members in Chad are
available for media interviews. Please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, Emergency
Communications Manager, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),

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