Chad UNHCR Operational update - October 2018
There are currently 654,113 persons of concern to UNHCR in Chad including 447,125 refugees and 3,653 asylum seekers. In the Lac region, there are 124,078 IDPs, 38,677 Chadian returnees, as well as 10,607 refugees. In eastern Chad, there 336,929 Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers and 3,858 Chadians (former refugees) voluntarily repatriated from Sudan since December 2017. In southern Chad, there are 96,438 CAR refugees as well as 45,710 Chadian returnees from CAR. In N’djamena, there are 6,804 urban refugees of different nationalities, but mainly from CAR.
UNHCR CONDEMNS REFUGEE CAMP VIOLENCE IN THE EAST: UNHCR is deeply concerned by the escalation of violence at Bredjing camp, in Ouaddai province, in the east of Chad. During the period of 27 through 29 October 2018, a brawl broke out among Sudanese refugees at the camp, leaving 6 dead and 27 injured, and causing significant damage to property. The violence was orchestrated by a group of individuals, following targeted food distributions based on vulnerabilities. Calm is being restored. While waiting on the Chadian authorities conclude their investigation into the matter, UNHCR expresses its condolences to the bereaved families, and reiterates the need to secure the refugee camps, so that humanitarian actors can continue to provide food aid to the refugees.
CRRF: On 19 September, The government of Chad officially launched the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) in Chad, at the Hilton Hotel in N’Djamena. At the launch, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Public Security and Local Governance stated that the proposed national refugee law had been submitted to the Council of Ministers and would soon be adopted by Parliament.
NEW WORLD BANK & EUTF PROJECTS TO PROMOTE INCLUSION AND HOST COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: UNHCR Chad has submitted the final draft of the Inclusive Development of Host communities (DIZA) project to the European Union. The EU Trust Fund for Africa-funded project aims to strengthen advocacy for asylum law, popularize the law, and support its implementation, so as to promote the socio-economic integration of refugees and reduce the risks of statelessness. The project is expected to take off on November 01, 2018, and benefit some 334,300 refugees as well as 126,000 Chadians. Meanwhile, UNHCR has facilitated the signing of the Refugee and Host Community Support Project (PARCA) between the Government of Chad and the World Bank. The project which is expected to kick off in January 2019, includes a $ 60 million (CFA 34 billion) grant to help Chad improve access to social services and livelihoods for refugees and host communities, as well as to strengthen national refugee management systems.
INSECURITY AFFECTS HUMANITARIAN AID IN SOME AREAS IN OF THE LAKE CHAD REGION: Violent attacks presumed to be orchestrated by Boko Haram militants have forced UNHCR, among other aid agencies, to temporarily suspend operations in a few parts of the Lake region. Since late September, 13 people had been killed and five kidnapped in seven attacks in the Bol and Baga-Sola areas. However, calm is returning and aid is resuming already in some areas. UNHCR is closely monitoring the situation, while working with the government to seek solutions that will permit aid to continue unabated.
NEW FEARS OF REFUGEE INFLUXES IN THE SOUTH AS EMERGENCY STABILISES: Following armed conflicts in northern Central African Republic, there are some 21,536 central African refugees now settled in UNHCR camps and sites in the South of Chad. The emergency response of UNHCR and its partners has been effective in providing shelter, health, food security and protection since the latest influx erupted in March 2018. However, according to a recent field Mission report by UNHCR Deputy Director for Africa, Millicent Mutuli, there remain logistical and operational constraints, among them, the non-functional airstrip in Gore, and poor road conditions that lead to road travel of six-seven hours between field offices and sites. Also, bold moves must be made to move from emergency shelter to semi-durable shelter for some 6000 families, as well as to promote livelihoods and resilience among the refugees and their hosts, in line with the CRRF. New reports of imminent conflicts in northern CAR have emerged, signaling that that there could be a new refugee influx; UNHCR is monitoring the situation.
VOLUNTARY RETURN PROGRAMME: The first ever Tripartite Commission Meeting attended by over 20 officials from Chad, Sudan, and UNHCR held on 14 September in N’Djamena, to take stock of the voluntary return activities between the 2 countries and map a way forward. The meeting also marked the formal constitution of the Tripartite Commission created by the Tripartite Agreement which was signed by the three Parties in Khartoum on May 31 2017. A technical working group was established to take charge of operations going forward. So far, 353 Sudanese refugees have returned voluntarily in 2018. Convoys are expected to resume by the third week of November.
EDUCATION: In the last half of 2017/2018 school year, 1,599 refugees enrolled in school. This increase was particularly noticeable in the South, due to the influx of new Central African refugees since December 2017. In 2017/2018, the number of refugee students enrolled increased to 12,194, a growth of 14% from the previous academic year. The number of Chadians enrolled in the camp schools has also increased by 77% in the same year. Finally, 579 refugees passed the Baccalaureate exams this year.
CHAD TO ISSUE BIRTH CERTIFICATES TO 120,000 REFUGEE CHILDREN AT RISK OF STATELESSNESS FREE-OF-CHARGE: Following advocacy by UNHCR to prevent the risk of statelessness, President Idriss Déby has exceptionally authorised free supplementary judgments for more than 120,000 refugee children who were born between 2003 and 2015, and who were not able to register for birth certificates within the mandatory period of 3-months after birth. The new ruling will have a very positive impact on efforts to reduce statelessness in Chad.