Mid-Year Review of the Consolidated Appeal for Chad 2009
The aid community in Chad over the first half of the year has been able to continue the provision of vital assistance to refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR), internally displaced people (IDPs), and to members of the host population most affected by the regional crisis that has left over half a million people in Chad heavily reliant on humanitarian assistance for their daily survival. Some 340,000 refugees, 171,000 internally displaced persons, and 155,000 people in the local population have been provided with life-saving assistance, despite a complex and difficult humanitarian and security environment.
A fragile humanitarian situation in eastern Chad compounds the challenges posed by the volatile state of security in the country, and within the sub-region, namely in Sudan and CAR. Thousands of refugees from CAR continue to cross into the Salamat region of southeastern Chad fleeing fighting between Government and armed opposition forces in northern CAR. The unpredictable security situation in Sudan and CAR, coupled with inadequate access to basic services in zones of origin of Chadian IDPs, remain major impediments to the return of refugees and IDPs to their areas of origin. As a consequence, neither the repatriation of refugees from Chad nor a significant return of IDPs is envisaged in the second half of 2009.
Instability in Chad stems from the internal political crisis in the country and incorporates a regional dimension brought about by a proxy war between Sudan and Chad in which both governments accuse each other of harbouring and supporting each other’s armed opposition groups. The fighting in May 2009 in eastern Chad between Government forces and Chadian armed opposition groups are a clear indication of the tense relations between Chad and Sudan and highlight the slow progress in efforts to consolidate peace, most recently with the signing of the Doha agreement of 3 May 2009 and the Dakar agreement of 13 March 2008. The failure of Chad and Sudan to implement mutual agreements and commitments has contributed to transforming eastern Chad into a theatre of persistent insecurity. Under such conditions, humanitarian agencies have been compelled to apply more rigorous and restrictive security measures, including the occasional evacuation of aid workers from some localities. This in turn disrupts the delivery of essential humanitarian services to affected populations in eastern Chad.
The international community will continue with efforts aimed at internal dialogue between the Chadian authorities and the armed opposition groups, as well as resolving the long-standing conflict between Chad and Sudan. Success in these efforts will affect the ability of humanitarian agencies to deliver assistance to those in need and to prevent a further deterioration of the humanitarian crisis in Chad. Following the transition of the European Union Force to the military component of the UN Mission in CAR and Chad on March 15, 2009, the latter is facing military and logistical challenges and is yet to reach full operational capacity. The full deployment of the Chadian Integrated Security Detachment was completed; however, the full effect of its presence in eastern Chad, in particular contributing to the preservation of humanitarian space, protection of civilians, and the security of camps and sites, is yet to materialise.
Despite all these difficulties, as well as the operational constraints imposed by the terrain, distances, and the onset of the rainy season, there has been progress in meeting the objectives of the 2009 Consolidated Appeal. Some 20,700 Chadians have been assisted to return home, whilst IDPs and refugees living in camps have been provided with a range of basic services including health, education, water and sanitation, and protection. Overcoming significant logistical constraints, food has been provided to over 255,000 Sudanese refugees, over 124,000 IDPs, and approximately 150,000 individuals among the local populations in the areas where refugees and IDPs are present. Progress has also been noted in the area of early recovery designed to promote livelihoods, access to basic social services and reduction of dependence on humanitarian assistance on the part of IDPs and host communities.
However, much remains to be done, particularily in of protection and assistance to enable the affected populations to attain sustainable self-reliance and reduced dependence on humanitarian aid. Protection issues continue to be of great concern as vulnerable groups in the refugee camps and IDP sites, particularly women and children, are often the target of attacks and human rights violations by armed elements. Humanitarian aid workers are also targets of banditry, including looting of office compounds and residences, attacks and hijacking of vehicles, and personal attacks. The situation in Chad is further compounded by the scarcity of natural resources such as water and firewood. The long-term presence of such large numbers of refugees and IDPs has placed additional strain on the existing limited resources available to the local population.
The aid community generally agrees that the situation in Chad is now predominately one of care and maintenance of the various populations, that the acute emergency phase (in the sense of rapid worsening) is over, and that it has to support as much as possible IDPs who have returned to their areas of origin or wish to integrate in their area of displacement. Humanitarian action for the second half of 2009 will continue to focus on emergency relief needs, whilst emphasising self-sufficiency and developing local capacities of people in Chad affected by the internal crisis and instability in Sudan and CAR. The Appeal, originally requesting US$ 389million, now requests $400 million. As of 25 June, 51% of this amount ($204 million) has been secured, leaving unmet requirements of