Chad is grappling with an escalating refugee crisis, with over one million refugees seeking shelter, making it one of Africa’s largest and fastest-growing refugee populations.
The persistent conflict in neighboring Sudan has forced hundreds of thousands across Chad’s borders, amplifying humanitarian needs at a time when resources to address them are scarce.
The number of Sudanese refugees in Chad has doubled in the past six months, mirroring the influx witnessed in the last two decades since the Darfur crisis erupted in 2003. This recent surge, especially near Darfur’s border, has heightened tensions between host communities and new arrivals, compounding Chad’s existing challenges.
The country is facing severe food shortages and malnutrition, particularly among children, aggravated by climate adversities, economic strains, declining agricultural output, and intercommunity tensions.
The refugee influx is adding pressure to already food-insecure areas, with 2.1 million individuals experiencing acute food shortages in 2023. Chad is undergoing its most severe lean season in ten years, especially pronounced in the east due to the Sudan crisis. Malnutrition affects 1.36 million children, with 8.6% of those under 5 suffering from malnutrition, and 1.5% severely malnourished, a particularly alarming issue in refugee camps.
An Emergency Food Security Assessment conducted in Eastern Chad reveals concerning statistics, with 90% of new refugees, 77% of existing refugees, and 67% of local communities experiencing poor or marginal food consumption.
The World Food Programme (WFP) aims to assist 2.85 million people, encompassing refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and vulnerable locals. Their efforts include emergency interventions, school feeding programs, and initiatives to prevent and treat malnutrition through food and cash-based aid, especially during sudden emergencies like floods.