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Getting urgent supplies to Sudanese refugees in Chad

MSF calls on UN agencies and donor states to scale up emergency aid as the rainy season begins.

A man carries plastic sheeting to distribute in a displacement camp in Chad.

MSF teams unload a truck carrying plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, and soap for displaced people in Adré camp, which houses more than 180,000 displaced people. | Chad 2024 © Thibault Fendler/MSF

NEW YORK/ADRE, Chad, June 27, 2024 — Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has launched a mass distribution of plastic sheeting, mosquito nets, and soap for hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees in eastern Chad amid a critical gap in humanitarian aid by United Nations agencies.

The rainy season is beginning in eastern Chad, where more than 600,000 people have fled the war in Sudan since April 2023, but many families have not yet received any assistance to construct shelters or meet other basic needs.

MSF teams began distributions on June 24 in Adré transit camp, a temporary home to more than 180,000 people, according to UN estimates, who are predominantly women and children from Sudan's Darfur region.

Plastic sheeting, soap, and mosquito nets are vital resources in an environment lacking essentials, from shelter to sanitation

An MSF staffer distributes plastic sheeting to a displaced person in Chad.
MSF teams are distributing kits containing plastic sheeting and a mosquito net to displaced people living in the Adré transit camp ahead of the rainy season.
Chad 2024 © Thibault Fendler/MSF

"Here, the arrival of the rainy season means the massive return of mosquitoes, and with them, malaria," said Steve Tegang, MSF's project medical referent in Adré transit camp. "Even if our medical teams are ready, we will inevitably see an explosion in the number of cases in the camp. As for the soap, it will contribute to countering diseases that are preventable through good hygiene, such as cholera—even if no cases have been reported for the moment—or hepatitis E, of which there have already been many reported cases."

MSF also continues to supply 80 percent of the water in Adré transit camp. However, MSF's provision of water and supplies diverts funds typically allocated for medical care—a gap that UN agencies have yet to address.

MSF urgently calls for a humanitarian scale-up from all partners and relevant UN agencies to address the dire conditions faced by refugees from Sudan in eastern Chad and to support ongoing efforts to mitigate the long-neglected needs of an ever-increasing population.

"In Adré, we note the presence of humanitarian actors from all sectors of activity, but we also note that they often lack resources," said Méria Aimée Nadje, project coordinator for MSF in Adré transit camp. "Faced with this situation, MSF has already invested considerably in access to safe water, improving sanitation with the construction and emptying of latrines, and the distribution of jerrycans for better transport and water conservation, all with the aim of reducing the risk of diseases."

The needs are immense, and while these items are essential, they cannot replace proper shelters and decent living conditions.

Florent Uzzeni, MSF deputy operations manager

MSF is also distributing essential items in Aboutengué camp, following meetings with community members about unmet needs.

In mid-June, MSF distributed plastic sheeting to about 5,000 families in Aboutengué, after providing 11,370 mosquito nets in the camp in May, and beginning monthly distributions of soap there in March.

Sudanese refugee women in eastern Chad receive NFI from an MSF distribution at Adré camp.
The plastic sheeting distributed by MSF provides Sudanese refugees, many of whom live in makeshift shelters, with protection from the weather and related health issues.
Chad 2024 © Thibault Fendler/MSF

"The needs are immense, and while these items are essential, they cannot replace proper shelters and decent living conditions," said Florent Uzzeni, MSF deputy operations manager. "It is imperative for the UN agencies and donor states to scale up their emergency aid in eastern Chad."

Sudan crisis response