SEATTLE — Chad is a country bordered by the Sahel region: Nigeria, Niger, South Sudan, Libya, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic. As a result of its location in the turbulent region of North Africa, the population of refugees in Chad is growing and becoming unsustainable as communities are displaced from disputed and war-torn countries in the region. The refugee situation in Chad is a global humanitarian emergency.
Consequently, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there are 320,000 refugees currently residing in Chad. Poverty is becoming rampant and social and economic issues are exacerbating conditions; the rural poverty rate is estimated at 52.5 percent.
Sudanese refugees, in particular, comprise an integral proportion of the figure, with more than 300,000 living in Chad. Funding cuts for various organizations and aid convoys such as the UNHCR have resulted in dwindling food rations and deficiencies in other essential services.
The strain on refugees in Chad is increasing and leading to insurmountable pressure on the Lake Chad Basin. Lake Chad is a drainage basin spanning seven countries and home to more than 17 million individuals from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The presence of Boko Haram in the region and other mounting economic uncertainties have driven people to flee their homes.
The environmental concerns regarding the basin are also widespread with the unpredictability of weather patterns and the growth of invasive vegetation and species. These debilitating problems are restricting practices like fishing for the people living in the area.
Providing humanitarian aid to the area to counteract malnutrition among refugees in Chad and other food shortages is a top priority for U.N. bodies and other international nonprofits. CARE is an especially prominent organization that works with UNHCR.
Given the magnitude of asylum applications, UNHCR and the EU are working collaboratively to help children from war-torn areas in the region receive identification. Chad is administering a new biometric registration and verification program to combat the threat of statelessness among refugees. This will make the application procedure more efficient, streamlined and carefully regulated, thus galvanizing the framework of application procedures.
Despite being a short term solution, foreign aid is an effective way to address the situation at hand. Germany’s foreign humanitarian aid is widespread in Chad; the Federal Foreign Office in Germany is successfully providing humanitarian support and aid to refugees in Chad with the objective of providing conflict prevention measures. The department provided 270 million euros alone in 2016 to war-torn African countries.
The Federal Foreign Office of Germany works collaboratively with many international organizations like the U.N., World Food Program (WFP), Red Cross, Red Crescent, UNHCR and other host countries to successfully implement various humanitarian projects.
To encourage more self-sufficiency among refugees, it is essential for local authorities to grant land for cultivation as a subsistence sector for refugees in Chad for the near foreseeable future. To facilitate this, the required equipment can be provided by aid convoys.
With the brief but unprecedented austerity move that was displayed towards refugees in the U.S., it is relieving that diplomatic and constitutional footing is being gained so that refugees can rehabilitate and resettle.
Providing immediate aid and support to refugees in Chad is crucial for the short and long run. Overall, it is vital to alleviate humanitarian emergencies that threaten to tear families apart.
– Shivani Ekkanath