Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in Chad as Sudanese Refugees Face Severe Hardships

Humanitarian Crisis Deepens in Chad as Sudanese Refugees Face Severe Hardships

A year after violent conflicts erupted in Sudan, the humanitarian situation for refugees in neighboring Chad continues to deteriorate. Tens of thousands of Sudanese, fleeing the brutal fighting between Sudan’s military and the Rapid Support Forces, now face critical shortages of food, water, and medical care in refugee camps.

Assadig Abubaker Salih, a 42-year-old widow and mother of six, recounted the perilous journey and subsequent hardships her family has endured since arriving at one of the camps. "We are in a very bad situation," Salih explained, mourning the loss of her husband and the scarcity of basic necessities such as food and clean water. "There is nothing here."

The United Nations has reported that nearly 570,000 Sudanese refugees have sought sanctuary in Chad over the past year, significantly straining local resources. According to Doctors Without Borders, more than 16,000 children under the age of five suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a condition that has visibly affected many infants in the camp. "Many, many of our babies are severely malnourished," said Cordula Haffner, the hospital coordinator. She cited lack of hygiene, food, and water as the primary reasons for the crisis.

With the lean season approaching, conditions are expected to worsen, increasing the risk of diseases such as malaria. Health experts have also noted a rise in respiratory and liver diseases among the camp's population, exacerbated by the harsh living conditions.

The conflict in Sudan has led to massive displacement, with close to 9 million people fleeing their homes. The international community's response has been tepid, with the U.N.'s call for $2.7 billion in humanitarian aid meeting only 6% of its target. This funding shortfall comes as an estimated 3 million children in Sudan suffer from malnutrition, and a quarter of the country's hospitals are no longer operational.

The international community is urged to increase its support to avert a generational catastrophe. "It has been everyday Sudanese who have — often at great personal risk —stepped up to support each other," said Eatizaz Yousif of the International Rescue Committee. Meanwhile, atrocities continue in regions like Darfur, where ethnic tensions and violent assaults have revived memories of past genocides, demanding immediate attention and action to protect the vulnerable populations caught in the crossfire.

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