Red Cross warns of possible humanitarian disaster on Sudan-Chad border
Photo Credit UNAMID/Hamid Abdulsalam Displaced persons, mostly women and children, in North Darfur, Sudan. (file)
May 23, 2023
Geneva – An official of the Red Cross official on Tuesday warned of a looming humanitarian disaster of the Sudan-chad border, noting the impossibility to relocate Sudanese refugees in Chad before the start of rainy seasons in June.
According to the official, Sudanese refugees are streaming into Chad so quickly and it will be impossible to relocate them all to safer places before the rain becomes serious therefore flagging the risk of a disaster.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said some 60,000-90,000 people have fled into neighbouring Chad since the violence in Sudan erupted last month.
Pierre Kremer of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said thousands of the refugees have converged in a makeshift camp in a village named Borota.
Kremer in a virtual press briefing from Nairobi said that “We know that we won’t be able to relocate all of them before the rainy season.
“It’s a bit of a race now to relocate as many as we can. We run the risk of a major humanitarian disaster in this area.”
Access to the area is expected to be difficult after the rainy season starts because large streams, known as wadis, are set to cut it off from supplies.
Some 80 per cent of those arriving are women and children, many of whom have been separated from their parents as they fled from Darfur where violence between warring factions in the capital has spread in recent weeks.
Kremer said there had been reports of snake and scorpion bites among the refugees who are sleeping on the ground.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) has said it is seeking to move refugees gathering in border areas to pre-existing refugee camps in Chad and establish five new ones.
A UNHCR spokesperson in Chad, Eujin Byun, told Reuters that many of the refugees reported losing family members and having their homes burned down. Teenagers were often travelling alone with infants, she said.
“I’m overwhelmed to see them,” she said. “It’s a lot of children and it’s really heartbreaking as they don’t know where their parents are.
The Humanitarian Post