HIAS in Chad
Download the country fact sheet here.Founded: 2005
Violence and instability in Sudan and South Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic continues to drive people across the border into Chad, compounding the already protracted refugee crises in the east, the south, and the Lake regions of the country. There are now close to 500,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Chad, including 370,000 Sudanese refugees from Darfur. Between December 2019 and January 2020, approximately 16,000 new Sudanese refugees crossed the border into eastern Chad fleeing inter-ethnic violence. In mid-January 2021, 4,751 Sudanese citizens were forced to flee their homes and 2,478 were relocated to a new camp, Kouchaguine-Moura; to date, this camp is now hosting around 10,920 refugees.
HIAS PROGRAMS AND FOCUS
HIAS protects and supports refugees to build new lives and reunite with family members in safety and freedom. Working with refugees since 2005, HIAS Chad focuses on strengthening community-based protection networks, providing mental health and psychosocial support, distributing food and non-food items, and implementing “permagardening” initiatives. HIAS also maintains its partnership with the government and other humanitarian actors to welcome refugees by providing protection and addressing basic needs in emergency situations.
COMMUNITY BASED MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT (CB-MHPSS)
Refugees and forcibly displaced people face adversity and extreme stressors, including loss of loved ones, violence, and disruptions to daily life. HIAS’ community-based mental health programs train community members to recognize acute emotional distress in children and adults as a result of crisis, and how to respond with empathy and respect. HIAS Chad provides multi-layered psychosocial services to support individuals and communities and enhance resilience and capacity to cope. It also facilitates trainings on psychological first aid. HIAS Chad has reinforced its partnership with community-based protection network members, including faith and religious leaders (men) and Seidates (women faith leaders), to encourage them to continue to serve as emotional support providers and facilitators of change in attitudes in their communities.
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE (GBV) PREVENTION AND RESPONSE
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by forced displacement. HIAS’ GBV services are driven by the needs and the voices of survivors, and our GBV programming helps forcibly displaced women and girls pursue their potential, free from violence and gender-related oppression. HIAS Chad trains refugees to be community mobilizers who can then help HIAS identify and help GBV survivors, refers them to different services providers (ex. psychosocial support, material assistance, legal assistance, medical care) and prevention programs and initiatives, including income livelihoods and generating activities for those vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence, including at-risk women and children. Community mobilizers also help to implement prevention activities and initiatives in close collaboration with other community-based protection networks.
In addition to responding to the needs of the protracted refugee caseload in Chad, HIAS has been providing emergency assistance to newly arrived refugees. HIAS is responding to the influx of approximately 3,500 Central African Republic refugees and is providing emergency assistance to Sudanese arrivals from the Darfur region. Since the start of 2020, HIAS Chad has worked closely with partners to rapidly respond to emergency influxes of new refugees (about 16,000) fleeing Darfur and other neighboring regions, by dispatching staff and lifesaving support, including food, clothing, PPE, and other core relief items. HIAS staff are on site to provide the newly arrived refugees with psychological first aid counseling.
Access to dignified, sustainable, and safe livelihoods are at the core of HIAS’ economic inclusion interventions. Our methodology enables refugees, vulnerable migrants, and host communities to find opportunities that will increase resilience, regain dignity, and provide opportunities to build independent and meaningful futures. In 2017, HIAS launched a new program focusing on the permagardening methodology, a small-scale agricultural technique that maximizes soil fertility and water management using local resources. Now there are 204 lead gardeners who have been trained for the pilot phase in 3 camps in the Sila Province; and thanks to their collaboration 1,166 people befitted from gardens in their homes. The gardens allow refugees to diversify their diet and harvest vegetables for their household consumption and to sell in local markets. In addition, 3,580 fruit tree plants were distributed to gardeners and lead gardners. The permagardening experience is being extended to four other camps in the Ouaddai Province. HIAS also empowers women and girls through tailoring, bread making, knitting, and perfume-making activities in various camps. The projects promote self-reliance and strengthen the economic resilience of vulnerable populations like survivors of gender-based violence.
HIAS, in partnership with UNHCR, World Food Programme, and the government of Chad, distributes food to refugees throughout eastern Chad. Food distribution is a lifesaving activity that is particularly important in the context of COVID-19. Many refugees are unable to engage in livelihood activities and remain self-reliant, and some of the food distribution is returning to a refugee status-based model. Whenever there is a need to distribute core relief items (non-food items), HIAS Chad feels a duty to facilitate those services.
HIAS’ services are free. If someone tries to charge you for services claiming they represent HIAS, please report it at our confidential email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. HIAS has a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and corruption.