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UNHCR urges for urgent support to Chad as refugee arrivals exceed 100,000

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UNHCR urges for urgent support to Chad as refugee arrivals exceed 100,000

1 June 2023 Also available in:
Chad. First convoy of relocation of refugees from Goungour site to Gaga camp

NDJAMENA, 01 June 2023 - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) calls on the international community to urgently assist refugees in Chad, as the number of new arrivals has surpassed the 100,000 mark.

Since the onset of the conflict in Sudan on 15 April, an estimated 100,000 refugees fleeing violence have sought refuge in eastern Chad, particularly in Ouaddaï, Sila, and Wadi Fira provinces. Reports from our teams on the border indicate that new waves of arrivals are still ongoing.

The majority of these new arrivals originate from Darfur, a region in Sudan deeply impacted by violence and experiencing increasing instability. It is estimated that up to 200,000 people may be forced to flee to eastern Chad in the coming three months.

UNHCR and its partners have been working closely with the Chadian government, providing support and coordinating the emergency response to address the needs of the newly arrived refugees. “We have been working around the clock providing protection services, including specialized assistance to survivors of violence and children at risk, constructing boreholes and well, installing emergency latrines, running mobile clinics, organizing complex relocation convoys, scaling up camps capacity to accommodate newly arrived refugees in existing refugee camps, building family shelters and community infrastructures and we are starting to build new camps,” said Laura Lo Castro, UNHCR Representative in Chad.

As the rainy season is coming within the next, few weeks, we require massive logistics to move refugees from border areas for their safety and protection. We need to establish immediately new camps and extension of existing camps and continue to provide humanitarian assistance at the border and once refugees are relocated. As host populations are gravely affected by the situation in Sudan, some assistance will need to be extended to the most vulnerable among the host population.

To continue scaling up interventions and save lives while preserving peaceful coexistence, security, and stability, UNHCR urgently needs funding.

Prior to this crisis, Chad already hosted approximately 588,770 refugees, including 409,819 Sudanese fleeing conflict in Darfur as of March 2023, 127,846 refugees from the Central African Republic, 21,287 Nigerians escaping violence by Boko Haram in the Lake region, 28,311 Cameroonians affected by inter-communal tensions, and 1,507 refugees from other nations. Additionally, an estimated 381,289 Chadians are internally displaced, primarily in the Lake Chad Province. Displaced communities continue to face insecurity in Chad and neighboring countries, compounded by food insecurity, malnutrition, the effects of climate change, and a lack of livelihood opportunities. The protracted nature of displacement has strained services, natural resources, and social cohesion.

Despite the enormous needs, the humanitarian response to these dire and complex crises remains severely underfunded. Vulnerable refugees are missing out on critical life-saving assistance, plunging deeper into poverty and hunger, thereby increasing their vulnerability to protection risks.

"For families uprooted by the crisis, the humanitarian assistance is their beacon of hope. We rely on the compassion and generosity of our partners to rally together to ensure the provision of critical protection and life-saving support. Together, we can save lives and restore dignity to those in desperate need,” added Lo Castro.

UNHCR requires US$214.1 million to provide lifesaving protection and assistance to forcibly displaced persons in Chad, which includes US$72.4 million urgently needed for the emergency response for refugees fleeing conflict in Sudan. Regrettably, UNHCR’s needs for Chad are currently only 16% funded.

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