Media CenterCRS Sounds the Alarm Over Growing Humanitarian Crisis in Chad as Tens of Thousands of Sudanese People Flee the Fighting

Photo by Jjumba Martin for CRS

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Jennifer Lazuta
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
+221 78 621 98 75

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, May 26, 2023 – As fighting continues across parts of Sudan, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is warning of a growing humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad as tens of thousands of refugees seek safety from the violence. 

“The people fleeing are mostly women and children who arrive to the makeshift camps with nothing,” said Jean-Marie Bihizi, CRS’ country manager for Chad. “We’ve already provided a small amount of emergency food to some families, but with the rains coming in just a few weeks, we’re concerned about what will happen if we don’t get stable shelter in place.” 

The Republic of Chad – a landlocked country in central Africa – borders Sudan to the east and Libya to the north.  Recurring droughts and unpredictable rainfall have left its more than 17 million people struggling with food insecurity and economic instability. Since 2003, a high number of Sudanese refugees have been fleeing to Chad for safety from violence, extreme food insecurity and climate change impacts.

CRS is working with the Chadian government to respond to the growing refugee crisis, but more aid is needed. Earlier this month, the U.N. issued an appeal for $472 million to assist Sudanese refugees fleeing from the latest round of violence. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently pledged an additional $100 million to assist Sudan and countries affected by the violence there, such as neighboring Chad, but more is needed.

“They arrived with nothing and now face many problems,” said Father Jesus Calero, Vicar General of Mongo. “Most of them fled the fighting without taking anything, leaving all their belongings behind in Darfur, so there are many needs. They have no food, no bedding, no clothes and no shelter.” 

CRS will provide additional aid in the coming weeks to more than 2,000 people located in Andressa, along the border of Sudan. Due to its remote location, CRS is one of the only humanitarian organizations currently working there. 

The aid will be distributed by the Diocese of Mongo through Caritas AURA (Association Union Réflexion et Action). CRS’ response will include emergency food aid, as well as distributions of supplies like mattresses, sheets, blankets, cooking pots, jerrycans, buckets, mosquito nets and hygiene items like soap.  

“The people are scared,” said Bihizi. “They are scared of the fighting in their home, yes, of course, but right now, they are scared of whether or not they will be able to feed their children, to keep their families safe. We have to help lift this burden from their shoulders.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Nikki Gamer

Senior Public Affairs Manager

Nikki Gamer
May 26, 2023

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Senior Public Affairs Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement...More