The European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations has approved an additional €200 000 in aid for 8 000 Central African refugees in Chad which will be distributed by the Red Cross movement.
As violence increases in Central African Republic (CAR), thousands of people are crossing the border to neighbouring countries. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, close to 30 000 new refugees have arrived in the south of Chad (Eastern Logone region) since December 2017. The new arrivals add to the 77 000 refugees who fled to Chad in previous years. This latest influx is the largest population movement ever observed since the beginning of the CAR crisis in 2013.
Refugees have settled spontaneously in villages near the border, which are currently overwhelmed by a precarious food situation and facing urgent needs in terms of shelter, food, drinking water, health services, education and care for children.
The newly approved EU-funding supports the Chad Red Cross in delivering much needed relief assistance, including items such as soap, jerry cans, and cooking tools. The aid will also improve access to sanitation and hygiene services, and safe drinking water; eight water points will be rehabilitated and 425 emergency household latrines will be constructed.
Priority will be given to villages with a high presence of children and women including those at risk. Two thirds of the refugees (66 percent) are under 18 years old and most households are single-parent families headed by women.
The €200 000 is part of the EU's €3 million annual contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors.
In addition to this funding which is specifically directed through the Red Cross movement, EU humanitarian aid provides assistance to the population affected by the CAR crisis in Chad through a variety of humanitarian organisations present in the field. The total aid to the most vulnerable refugees, including Sudanese refugees, returnees, and the local population amounted to €6 million in 2017.