The United Nations refugee chief has pledged to step up efforts to improve local access to water in the Darfur region.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres toured areas adjacent to the Sudanese-Chadian border and met with African Union (AU) officials in West Darfur yesterday, the third day of his visit to Sudan.

An estimated 25,000 Chadians have sought refuge in West Darfur, despite the conflict in that part of Sudan, because of fighting across eastern Chad in recent months between rebels and Government forces.

Guterres acknowledged the vital importance of water to everyone living in the area and promised that UNHCR would do all it could to find better solutions for the refugees.

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