Chad struggles with soaring refugee crisis

Women who fled the war in Sudan await the distribution of international aid rations at the Ourang refugee camp, near Adre town in eastern Chad on August 15, 2023.

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MOHANED BELAL/AFP or licensors


Chad accommodates over one million refugees, constituting one of Africa’s largest and rapidly growing refugee populations.

Ongoing conflict in neighboring Sudan has propelled hundreds of thousands across the border, exacerbating humanitarian needs while resources to address them are diminishing. 

Sudanese refugee numbers in Chad have doubled in the last six months, paralleling the total arrivals over the past two decades since the Darfur crisis in 2003. The refugee influx, particularly from the recent surge near Darfur’s border, intensifies tensions between host communities and newcomers in a country grappling with multiple crises. 

Chad confronts acute food insecurity and malnutrition, especially among children, worsened by climate challenges, economic pressures, declining agriculture, and intercommunal tensions. 

The refugee crisis further strains food-insecure communities, with 2.1 million people facing acute food insecurity in 2023. Chad experiences its worst lean season in a decade, notably in the east since the Sudan crisis. Malnutrition affects 1.36 million children, with 8.6% under 5 suffering and 1.5% severely malnourished, particularly concerning in refugee sites. 

Emergency Food Security Assessment in Eastern Chad reveals poor or borderline food consumption in 90% of new refugees, 77% of pre-existing refugees, and 67% of local communities. 

The World Food Programme (WFP) aims to aid 2.85 million people, including refugees, IDPs, and vulnerable locals, through emergency interventions, school feeding, and malnutrition prevention and treatment, including food and cash-based assistance for sudden onset emergencies like floods.

Additional sources • Nadia Colombe Gbané

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