N'Djamena, Chad, 17 May 2023 — The situation in Sudan is causing a major refugee crisis in neighbouring Chad, with over 60,000 people fleeing the violence and seeking refuge. 90% of those arriving in Chad are women and children, and one-fifth of young children are acutely malnourished, according to UNHCR.
Aleksandra Roulet-Cimpric, IRC Country director in Chad said,
“The fact that women and children make up such a large proportion of the new arrivals in Chad is particularly worrying, because they are often the most vulnerable groups in conflict situations. Women and children are at greater risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse, and they may also face difficulties accessing basic necessities such as food, water, and healthcare.
This humanitarian response has also been challenging and costly, as refugees are arriving in remote areas where infrastructure and services are scarce. The upcoming rainy season will further complicate logistics, as many roads may become impassable. The IRC calls for increased support for the humanitarian response in Chad, including funding, resources, and personnel. It is essential that these vulnerable groups are protected and provided with the necessary assistance to meet their basic needs and ensure their safety and well-being.’’
The crisis in Sudan has been caused by weeks of fighting, intercommunal clashes and general insecurity, resulting in large numbers of deaths and wounded, as well as difficult humanitarian conditions.
In Chad, the IRC has been providing drinking water to people who have arrived severely dehydrated and has set up mobile health clinics to attend to the vast health needs of the arriving population. In addition to providing immediate relief, the IRC is also working to scale up its support in the areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), health, and protection. This includes providing access to safe water and sanitation facilities, as well as promoting good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of disease.
The IRC in Chad
The IRC has delivered vital humanitarian programming in Chad since 2004 in response to the refugee crisis from neighbouring Darfur.
Today the IRC works across the country to deliver integrated interventions in health, including reproductive health, nutrition and water and sanitation; women’s protection and empowerment, with a focus on fighting against gender-based violence; and economic recovery, with an emphasis on cash transfer and income-generating activities.