WFP races to support surge of Darfur refugees arriving in Chad
“People are running across the border, wounded, scared, with only their children in their hands and the clothes on their backs. They need safety, security, and humanitarian assistance. WFP has mobilized everything we have to the border to support these new arrivals,” said Pierre Honnorat, WFP’s Country Director in Chad.
An update from Chad where WFP is rapidly expanding operations on the Chad-Sudan border to support the new arrivals:
- There has been a huge surge in people fleeing from Sudan’s Darfur region to Chad with 20,000 people arriving in Adré, a small Chadian town near the border, in the last week alone. So far more than 230,000 refugees and 38,000 returnees have crossed into Chad from Sudan since the start of the conflict in April 2023.
- WFP has so far delivered food and nutrition assistance to nearly 152,000 new arrivals and the host communities on the Chad-Sudan border.
- Many of the people arriving in Chad from Darfur are seriously wounded amid reports that fleeing civilians being deliberately targeted with an increasing ethnic dimension to the violence. WFP has been working with health actors and the local government to improve the health infrastructure at the Chad-Sudan border. So far WFP has constructed 6 temporary units, including two being used as a makeshift hospital and for medical logistics, and four as a transit points for new refugees crossing into Chad.
- WFP has been rapidly prepositioning food assistance along the border to provide in-kind food assistance (cereals, pulses, oil, and salt) as well as nutrition supplements to deliver malnutrition prevention and treatment support to the new arrivals, but resources are depleting fast.
- There are high rates of malnutrition among children crossing from Darfur into Chad. Estimates suggest over 10 percent of children are malnourished. Admissions of malnourished children to health centres in Adré are quickly increasing, putting significant pressure on the limited facilities.
- The rainy season has started making road access to the Chad-Sudan border increasingly challenging. Reaching some areas along the border requires crossing multiple ‘wadis’, large passageways of rainwater. WFP has deployed two SHERPS to reach Chad’s border areas. These are compact all-terrain vehicles designed can cross rivers and flooded areas and carry up to 1,200kg of food each.
- As WFP mobilises all available resources to support refugees arriving in Chad, it is also essential that WFP can safely deliver food assistance to civilians that remain in West Darfur. WFP’s Sudan Operation is providing food assistance and nutrition support in East, North, South and Central Darfur, with more than 420,000 people supported so far, but the agency is currently unable to safely operate in West Darfur.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters, and the impact of climate change.
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