Over the last several days in Chad, community leaders in the Sudan-Chad border region have told CARE that the region has received more than 42,000 refugees. This number is expected to grow in the coming days as the conflict in Sudan continues. The refugees are arriving in the villages bordering Chad, some with a few essential items of luggage and others not at all because of the pressure and stress. They settle in the open area or in huts made with millet stalks. Most of those arriving at the border are women and children.
Soumaiya*, a divorced woman with eight children to support, arrived in Chad on 20th April 2023. She said:
"When the conflict reached my hometown, the civilians were left vulnerable. As a result, many preferred to leave the village. My family and I left the village at one o'clock in the morning to cross over to the Chadian side. We made four trips that night on donkeys to evacuate our children and some of our belongings. A member of my family was murdered in this war."
Dr. Amadou Bocoum, CARE Chad Country Director, said:
“The context at the border was already delicate due to inter-community conflicts that are quite frequent here. In such situations, women and children are always the first victims. We have a duty to help these thousands of refugees regain their dignity and return to their homes when the situation improves. The current pressing needs that we have noted as the refugees arrive are food, water, and sanitation.”
Ousman*, head of a household of 18 people, narrates the difficult living conditions for women and girls in the areas they have settled in:
"Where we are, there are no toilets, so for the women's privacy, the men are forced to withdraw a little far from where they spend their day to allow the women to feel a little free.”
CARE Chad is already present on the ground alongside other partners to support those fleeing the conflict. CARE will build emergency latrines and conduct awareness campaigns on gender-based violence (GBV). More resources are needed to provide adequate WASH assistance and ensure food security.
* Name changed to protect identity
Notes to editors
CARE has been operating in Sudan since 1979, implementing humanitarian and development programs focused on women’s and girls’ empowerment, gender justice, humanitarian action, and resiliency.
CARE Sudan resumed some of its life-saving operations on 19th April in four of the six states it operates in, after a brief suspension due to the hostilities. CARE Sudan works with partners to provide water, health, nutrition, sanitation, and hygiene services to people in need across the country, with a particular focus on women and girls.
For media enquiries, please contact David Moore, Media Officer at CARE International UK, email@example.com