The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is currently visiting Chad to ascertain the humanitarian situation in the country and meet with the authorities. During this visit, the Commissioner will announce new funding of EUR 45 million in EU humanitarian aid for Chad.
This funding aims to address the most pressing humanitarian needs in Chad, notably those of refugees, returnees and host communities affected by the Sudanese conflict in the east of the country, those of internally displaced persons affected by the Lake Chad Basin conflict in western Chad, and the most vulnerable members of the population whose survival is threatened by starvation and malnutrition. This new EU humanitarian funding will address the most urgent protection and humanitarian aid needs, including providing emergency food, medical care, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, shelter, and children's education during a crisis.
The EU is also allocating an initial sum of EUR 72 million to Sudan in 2024 to help the country cope with the impact of the conflict and the resulting huge humanitarian needs for 24.8 million people, roughly half the Sudanese population. This funding will provide essential services and protection to people displaced by conflict or other disasters. This will include supporting education in emergencies, helping pupils affected by the conflict to continue their schooling, a particularly urgent need as 3 million children have been displaced, making Sudan the country with the largest number of displaced children in the world.
Visit to Chad
During his visit to Chad, the Commissioner will meet with President Mahamat Déby, Prime Minister Succès Masra, ministers and representatives of international humanitarian organisations, EU countries, the World Bank and UN agencies. Mr Lenarčič will also meet humanitarian partners involved in providing vital aid to Darfur in Sudan through cross-border operations from Chad. The EU's humanitarian partners travel to western Darfur daily to provide humanitarian assistance to a region where 60% of the population is facing acute food insecurity and a need for immediate protection assistance.
Chad's humanitarian needs are the result of recurrent food and nutrition crises in the country and the consequences of the violence in the Lake Chad Basin region. Since April 2023 these have been aggravated by the consequences of the conflict in neighbouring Sudan.
This conflict has led to a major displacement crisis, with 7.6 million people forcibly displaced, including 1.56 million seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. Over 620 000 people, Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees, have found refuge in eastern Chad and the Chadian government estimates that this figure will reach 910 000 by the end of 2024.
Chad was already hosting one of the region's largest refugee populations before the current conflict in Sudan. It is now hosting almost 1.3 million forcibly displaced people on top of a total population of 17.4 million.
For 2023, the EU had already allocated more than EUR 56 million to address Chad's humanitarian needs, thus doubling the initial amount allocated. EUR 24.5 million of this funding targeted the response in the east, to help refugees and returnees, as well as people in the host areas who are themselves living in extreme poverty.
The additional EU support to address the impact of the Sudanese crisis included a humanitarian air bridge carrying over 450 tonnes of essential supplies to various EU humanitarian partners on the ground, the temporary deployment of a helicopter in eastern Chad, in partnership with the UN Humanitarian Air Service, to allow humanitarian workers access to hard-to-reach areas, and the creation of a logistics platform in Adré, in partnership with HI/Atlas Logistique, to allow organisations to store and ship humanitarian supplies.
Together with local authorities, the EU has also rehabilitated a runway in the town of Adré – one of the main entry points for people fleeing Sudan – to facilitate the arrival of planes carrying humanitarian personnel and cargo, as well as medical evacuations.
The humanitarian situation in Chad is complex, the needs are great, and more funding is needed to meet these needs. The initial number of people in need in 2023 was 6.9 million and the updated number is 7.6 million. EU humanitarian aid provides, among other things, multi-sectoral protection and assistance to forcibly displaced persons, life-saving treatments for undernourished children, food assistance, and aid to address environmental risks.
The humanitarian situation in Sudan is continuing to deteriorate after 9 months of conflict. More than half of the population – around 24.8 million people – need humanitarian assistance and protection. Sudan is the country facing the largest displacement crisis in the world. Food insecurity is on the rise. The situation in Darfur is particularly worrying, with the five Darfur states accounting for almost half of the places where humanitarian needs are most acute.
In 2023, the EU allocated EUR 128 million to address immediate humanitarian needs in Sudan. The EU has set up a humanitarian air bridge to help transport vital supplies to our humanitarian partners in Port Sudan.
Source: European Commission