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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
29 April 2024

2 decades on, new atrocities in Darfur trigger a mass influx of refugees into Chad

2 decades after atrocities and crimes against humanity were committed in Darfur, the Sudanese region is again on fire following the recent conflict that erupted in April 2023; and neighbouring Chad is once again faced with a mass influx of destitute and terrorised refugees.

More than 579,000* Sudanese refugees have escaped to Chad since April, pushing the country’s refugee population over the 1 million mark which is more than Chad ever hosted in the past 20 years.

With the support of the European Union (EU), the UN Refugee Agency has been creating new refugee sites and relocating refugees from the border to these new sites. 

However, more and continued support is needed since many Sudanese arrive with barely anything and need to be moved away from the insecure border and registered as the mass influx continues. 

The government has recently declared a state emergency on the food and nutrition crisis. In addition, WHO reported 1,120 cases of hepatitis E in the Ouaddai region, of which 12 pregnant women, affecting mainly people in the Adre refugee site and in the camps.

*Data as of 19/04/2024 (UNHCR). As the mass influx continues, figures are subject to change rapidly.

A child laying asleep while another child holds her hand on the head.
13-month-old Mohamed Yaya takes a nap surrounded by his brothers and sisters. His mother carried him to safety on her back. The family found refuge in Kufrun, Ouaddai region, Chad.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Anna Zakaria Abdallah, seen from the back, and her son looking towards the camera standin amid a group of refugees.
Anna Zakaria Abdallah, 36, and her son Abdoulaye are from Tindelti town in the Sudanese Darfur region. They fled Janjaweed militia attacks. They are waiting to be registered as refugees in Chad.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Noura and her family sitting inside the emergency shelter. A white canvas/wall in the back.
Noura and her family fled the violence at night and came barefoot to Chad. “Having a proper shelter means my kids will no longer endure the harsh toll of cold, wind and rain.” Through its partner UNHCR the EU helps refugees with emergency shelter.
© UNHCR/Ying Hu
2 legs of a person laying on the floor. One leg has a bandage around it.
Achta Jaroun Alimat, 54, was injured while escaping from her home in Tendelti town. The EU helps refugees like Achta with protection, shelter, water, hygiene, and sanitation services.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Kaltouma, 82, walking with a stick and someone holding her hand.
Kaltouma, 82, is on her way to the distribution of essential household items at the Kufrun site in Ouaddai region. She needs assistance to walk. Her family transported her across the border on a cart.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
3 people building a shelter in a field.
Ibrahim Mahuamat Ibrahim builds a shelter at the Kufrun site in Chad. "We can sleep outside, but as the rainy season is approaching, we want to protect the children.”
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Ashta walking with a donkey carrying 2 children.
Ashta fled the Darfur region of Sudan with her husband and 6 children. "A member of our community was killed by the militia, so we decided to leave the town. I'm relieved now, but I still think about what happened.”
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Aid workers talking with refugees.
The EU funds various humanitarian partners to help the Sudanese refugees that arrive in huge numbers across the border in Chad. EU partners provide urgent protection, shelter, water, hygiene, and sanitation services.
View of a refugee site in the border town of Adre, Chad.
Over 195,000* Sudanese who fled conflict in Sudan since April 2023 still live in makeshift shelters in a spontaneous refugee site in the border town of Adre, Chad. They are in urgent need of being relocated to safer areas with better access to aid.
© UNHCR/Ying Hu
Close-up of Soeba Ibrahim holding her child.
Soeba Ibrahim, 25, arrived in Kufrun, Chad, on 28 April with her 3 children. They fled the growing insecurity in neighbouring Darfur. Her daughter Raima is suffering from acute malnutrition. She is waiting to see a doctor.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Aerial view of people standing in lines, some trees at the left.
Hundreds of new Sudanese refugees wait for food distribution at the Kufrun site in the Ouaddai region of Chad. They fled attacks from militias who act with impunity as Sudan descends into chaos.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
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Story and photos by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

Publication date: 29/04/2024