Humanitarian AidPeople don't have enough water to bathe, to clean, or to cook!-...

People don’t have enough water to bathe, to clean, or to cook!- Stephen Cornish

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In a recent visit to eastern Chad, MSF Director General Stephen Cornish expressed deep shock at the dire living conditions of Sudanese refugees. With extensive experience as a humanitarian worker worldwide, Cornish highlighted the alarming nature of the emergency in Chad, emphasizing the overwhelming displacement of people escaping severe violence.

Cornish remarked, “With such a rapid and vast displacement of people fleeing harrowing violence, the overwhelming nature of how many people have sought refuge here and knowing what made them flee is really hard on the heart.”

Despite commendable efforts from humanitarian organizations, host communities, and the Chad government, the situation teeters on the brink of catastrophe. Cornish stated, “From insufficient access to food, water, and shelter, to concerns about proper hygiene, it’s a daily struggle for those who have left almost everything behind.” Inadequate and irregular food distributions, coupled with insufficient water access and sanitation facilities, compound the crisis.

The alarming incidence of malnutrition, malaria, and diarrhoea has already been noted. Cornish stressed, “Our role now is to ensure enough assistance together with other partners going forward so we don’t end up in another catastrophic situation several months down the road. We urgently appealed to governments and donor countries, urging them to strengthen financial support for organizations on the ground. This ensures a comprehensive response to emergency needs, covering shelter, water, and food.”

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Cornish highlighted the disproportionate impact on women and children, stating, “The people suffering in this crisis are predominantly women and children, while many are also victims of large-scale violence.” Many refugees recount unspeakable horrors, from family tragedies to heinous acts of abduction and sexual violence, with homes reduced to ashes.

Stephen Cornish stressed the need for immediate and robustly scaling up aid efforts to avert widespread misery in the foreseeable future, emphasizing the urgency of solid and sustained humanitarian commitments to prevent relegating the crisis to mere statistics.

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