From the World Food Program (WFP), Chad Country Director Pierre Honnorat, said that 20,000 people crossed into Chad last week.
Speaking to journalists via Zoom from the Zabout refugee camp in Goz Beida, Mr. Honnorat described the desperate scenes: “We see that they are suffering, many missing family members and we did not dare to ask them, ‘Where are the men?’ The answer from the mothers is usually that they were killed. So, you will see many women, many children”.
The new arrivals are among more than 230,000 refugees and 38,000 returnees uprooted by deadly fighting in western Sudan’s Darfur state.
‘We need support, not hope’
Many were seriously injured and had harrowing stories of the violence they had experienced, Mr. Honnorat said, as he appealed for financial support to help the victims of the conflict in Sudan, which began on April 15 and was marked by the use of heavy weapons and airstrikes involving opposing military forces.
“It’s not over yet, we really need support, it’s not about hope anymore, we give them hope, safety, but they really need to eat every day,” said the WFP official, adding that “the situation is very critical. “
To scale up WFP’s response on the Chad-Sudan border, the UN agency needs at least $13 million per month.
Died in nutrition centers
Immediate priorities include treating the wounded and helping vulnerable malnourished children crossing from Darfur into Chad. According to WFP, one in 10 displaced youth from Sudan is malnourished.
“Every week children die in nutrition centers, this is a fact,” said Mr. Honnorat. “The malnutrition rate among children is very high today and we must hurry to prevent it to ensure that those who have what we call moderate to acute malnutrition get what they need immediately so that they do not fall into a serious situation. malnutrition.”
According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, the conflict has displaced more than 2.5 million people within the country and across the borders of neighboring countries. Before the crisis erupted, there were 1.1 million refugees in Sudan, mostly from South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Syria.
The latest data from UNHCR shows that Chad has opened its borders to more than 190,000 refugees, second only to Egypt, which shelters more than 250,000.
In recent weeks, WFP has established six temporary health units, including two that are currently being used as a makeshift hospital and medical logistics, and four as transit points for new refugees. which crossed Chad.
“I rarely see such an important crisis with so little funding”, said the WFP country director. “I was also at the border, at the bridge, the rest of the bridge. It is always in flux and those who come today are in worse conditions than those who came in the early days.
Many of those arriving in Chad from Darfur have been seriously injured amid reports that fleeing civilians are being deliberately targeted in the increasingly ethnic dimension of the violence.