Chad + 3 more

ACT Alert: Assistance to returning and integrating IDPs, and to Refugees and HC in East & South Chad

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Geneva, January 12, 2012

In addition to the current Sahel drought, recent epidemics and the return of 83,000 migrant workers from Libya resulting to increased vulnerability, Chad has continued to host refugees from Central Africa republic and those from the Darfur conflict in Sudan, and its own IDPs resulting from internal conflict. This situation has led to the protracted humanitarian crisis in Chad. Refugees continue to depend on humanitarian aid while IDPs as well as their host community need support for better conditions of return and re-integration.

  1. Brief description of the emergency

During the Darfur rebellion in Sudan (2003), there was heavy influx of refugees into Chad. Approximately, 288,000 Sudanese refugees have since crossed into the eastern provinces of Chad. The Darfur crisis precipitated internal conflicts due to increased competition for scarce services and natural resources in the host communities in Chad. The increased internal conflicts and rebel attacks on villages led to internal displacement of Chadians starting at the end of 2005. Since then the IDP population has grown to an estimated number of 181,000.

Since 2009 up to end of December 2011, 50,000 IDP’s have returned to their areas of origin and 131,000 still remain in IDP sites.

Presidential elections in the Central African Republic (CAR) in 2005 led to fights between government troops and rebels in the north of the country and resulted to a new wave of CAR refugees arriving in the southern part of Chad. Around 75,000 refugees from the CAR have settled in 11 camps in the southern and south-eastern provinces of Chad.

These conflicts and their impacts are closely linked to the endemic poverty in Chad. IDPs are highly dependent on support for durable solutions that focus on return, local integration and relocation. Lack of basic social services and inadequate rule of law prevent many IDPs from returning, while many have expressed their wish to do so.

The CAR refugees in the south of Chad have been able to develop a certain level of food self-sufficiency through agricultural production on the allocated land, however, they remain dependent on international support for basic services.

The Sudanese refugees are totally dependent on international aid with hardly any alternative options for earning their livelihoods. Access to arable land is generally non-existent for the Sudanese refugees.

Gender-based violence remains a concern in the IDP sites and refugee camps. Traditions and cultural norms and practices are particularly harmful for women and girls. These include early marriage and female genital mutilation.

The humanitarian situation in Chad is one of a protracted and forgotten crisis with a great need for long term sustained humanitarian support for durable solutions to save lives and livelihoods.