International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Darfur Crisis

Darfuri women and children, refugees in Chad
Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

More than 11 years after the start of the Darfur conflict in Sudan, as many as 300,000 people have been killed and more than 2.3 million displaced. Although the worst violence has declined since the conflict’s peak years of 2003 to 2005, fighting is again on the rise and several rounds of peace talks have failed.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain in camps across the border in eastern Chad, reluctant to return home because of ongoing insecurity, loss of property and fear of oppression. These refugees remain dependent on humanitarian aid for survival — but as the world's attention gradually fades, many thousands more Darfuris are fleeing new violence. (Dec. 2014)   

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How We Help

    • The International Rescue Committee aids 84,000 Darfuri refugees in three camps in eastern Chad and offers services to 33,000 Chadians living nearby. The IRC runs schools, health centers and water and sanitation programs in the camps.


  • Funding cuts have forced the IRC and other aid organizations to downsize. For the IRC’s part, we have had to shutter our secondary schools for Darfuri refugee youth, reduce by nearly half the number of teachers in our pre-school and primary schools and scale back community health and hygiene promotion activities.

Looking Back: The IRC in Darfur

Women gather over coffee in a Darfur camp 

At special IRC women's centers in refugee camps in Darfur, women learned to read and write, and came together to sing, dance, draw or relax over a cup of coffee.

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC


During ten years of conflict in Darfur, Sudan, it is estimated that 300,000 people have died and some 2.7 million have been displaced.

Building on our support for victims of other civil conflicts in war-torn Sudan spanning nearly three decades, the IRC provided medical care, water, sanitation, education and protection for 800,000 Darfuris and 1.1 million people in North and East Sudan.

Abruptly, on March 4, 2009, the IRC and and 12 other relief organizations were expelled from the region by the Sudanese government. "Our departure left gaping holes in the essential support system for nearly two million people," says Kurt Tjossem, the IRC's regional director. "Every single one of us was heartbroken."  

Read more about the IRC's work in Darfur and how we are  continuing to help Darfuri refugees in Chad today.


Where is Darfur?

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