Background of the Forgotten Humanitarian Crisis in Chad

In A Conflict-ridden Neighborhood

Chad is part of Central Africa and is about three and half times the size of Germany. To the north, it is part of the Sahara, the largest desert, which stretches across the continent. The south is near the equator, making it tropical, green, hot, and humid. The large country in the West African Sahel might rarely appear in the media, but just as in better known conflict regions, Chad is in a humanitarian crisis and amid a conflict-riddled neighborhood: to the east lies the Sudanese province of Darfur, to the north Libya, which has been in political chaos for months. To the west, Chad borders Niger, where revolts, violence and drug trade prevail – especially in the north. Chad also borders with Nigeria, to the north of which armed groups are spreading and taking over entire cities. In the southwest lies the border to Cameroon. Finally, Chad shares its southern border with the Central African Republic. When the government was toppled there in 2013, hundreds of thousands of people fled, nearly 95,000 of them went to the south of Chad.

Around 500,000 refugees are currently in Chad seeking shelter from violence and terror in their homeland. Aside from the Central African Republic, they also come from Darfur/Sudan and Nigeria. Over half of the refugees are children. Many have suffered inconceivable misery along the way, were separated from their families and are now left to their own devices. In Chad, the many refugees cannot be sufficiently cared for. Almost four million people suffer from food insecurity, while one million are suffering from hunger.

A Tormented Country

With its limited resources, providing for such a large number of refugees is not easy for Chad. The local population is also put to a hard test this way. Living conditions in Chad are difficult, and long periods of dryness, floods, or political unrest arise time and again. CARE concentrates its aid on the refugee crisis in Chad and alleviates the suffering of those who enter the country by the southern border. In total, CARE is providing for over 58,600 refugees in the south of Chad and is very closely observing the current humanitarian situation in the southeast. They might be coming from different directions. They have different reasons for fleeing and different stories, but one thing remains clear: the suffering of the people in Chad cannot be ignored.