Chad in Crisis

Growing Refugee Populations Strain Resources in Chad

People fleeing violence in the Central African Republic seek refuge in Chad.

Learn More About The Sahel Hunger Crisis

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 18.7 million people in the Sahel region faced an extreme food crisis in 2012. Today, 20 million people are at risk for hunger and need assistance now.

We Can't Forget Chad

Many of us do not think of Chad when we think of an emergency. However, the landlocked state sits in a volatile neighborhood, with Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, Central African Republic and Cameroon to the south, and Nigeria and Niger to the west.

So, when trouble occurs in these surrounding countries, where do people tend to flee? Chad.

The Situation in Chad

Refugees from Central African Republic and Sudan are fleeing to Chad

With Sudan on its eastern border and the Central African Republic on its southern border, Chad has experienced an influx of refugees from conflicts in both countries. 

There are now more than 90,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR) in camps in southern Chad, as the security and humanitarian situation in CAR continues to deteriorate. In addition, Chad hosts over 350,000 refugees from Sudan, most fleeing conflict in the Darfur region. In addition, there are more than 90,000 Chadians displaced within the country. Many of these refugees and internally displaced persons are elderly, sick, disabled, minors and pregnant women - all groups with special vulnerabilities and needs.

Resources are strained to the limit

Chad was severely affected by the Sahel food crisis of 2012, which left 3.6 million people in need of food insecure and 21 percent of children malnurished in some areas. The drought caused tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in search of food and livelihoods. Chad was then hit by another disaster when massive floods destroyed newly-cultivated land, affecting more than a half million people and displacing thousands. Today millions of people wonder where their next meal will come from and if it will be enough to survive on. Chad also has the lowest rates of access to water and sanitation in the region, with only 44 percent of households having access to water and merely 12 percent having access to acceptable sanitation structures.

CARE's response

CARE has been working in Chad since 1975. Current operations are based mainly in the east along the border with Sudan and the south, where we are focusing our efforts on addressing the needs resulting from the influx of refugees from the Central African Republic.

CARE is UNHCR’s key partner in Chad and one of the few humanitarian agencies to work in all five Central African Republic refugee camps on the Chad-Central African Republic border, providing access to shelter, water, sanitation and food.

In the south, we are continuing to provide water and sanitation facilities (latrines, washing spaces, refuse pits, drainage, etc.) for newly-arrived refugees in three camps. We are also working to help provide emergancy shelter, infrastructure support and expertise in building community facilities. Because the supply of tents has been depleted in Chad, CARE is helping build hangars, which are then covered in plastic sheeting and can hold around 80 people each. During the last half of 2013, we contructed 56 hangars. To help with water and santation shortages, we've constructed 668 latrines, 24 garbage pits, 21 water points and eight washing areas.

CARE plans to target at least 30,000 more people (refugees, returnees and host community members) affected by the Central African Republic refugee crisis by providing access to water and sanitation, hygiene, reproductive health services, child protection as well as livelihoods activities. 

When the food crisis struck Chad, CARE quickly intervened to help people access food and cash, seeds and tools, water and more. During the most acute period, we distributed cereals, beans and oil to approximately 200,000 people, including almost 29,000 children under 5 who also received a special nutritional food supplement to compensate for the loss of vitamins, proteins and other important micronutrients important to their growth. We also helped pregrnant and nursing mothers with supplementary food to ensure adequate nutrition for themselves and their children.

During the floods in the region, we assisted people in Chad and flood-affected refugees from the Central African Republic, relocating 9,100 people to refugee camps, where CARE’s work includes the reconstruction of shelters and schools, the refurbishing of hand pumps, and support for community services centers for women and people with special needs.

How CARE works in emergencies


In 2011 alone, CARE reached 12 million people affected by natural disasters, conflict situations and other crises.


In emergencies, CARE is among the first to arrive and the last to leave. When it comes to responding to an emergency, timing is crucial.