Crisis in Darfur and Chad

Many children have grown up in the camps and do not know any other way of life. Photot: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam
Many children have grown up in the camps
in Darfur and do not know any other
way of life.

The Darfur crisis remains one of the world's largest concentrations of human suffering.

  • Almost 5 million people in Darfur and eastern Chad now live in need of humanitarian aid
  • 2.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to violence

The situation

Since early 2003, ongoing violence has forced thousands more of people to flee every month. Yet aid workers in the region are finding it increasingly difficult and dangerous to reach the people in need. When the licences of 16 aid agencies were revoked in March 2009, the precarious situation on the ground became dire.

Oxfam is there

We are currently helping more than 235,000 people in Darfur and eastern Chad by:

  • ensuring access to clean water and sanitation and hygiene programmes to people living in diffilcult conditions in camps;
  • carrying out public health education programmes to prevent the spread of disease;
  • providing assistance in restoring incomes, fuel-efficient stoves;
  • distributing basic necessities such as blankets, soap and jerry cans for carrying water;
  • helping people to find an alternative to relying on external aid through livelihoods projects. Many people affected by the conflict no longer have the means to make a dignified living: farmers who have been displaced from their land, herders who have lost their animals, and widows who are trying to raise children alone. Oxfam partners offer grants and small business loans, as well as assets like donkeys, donkey carts, seeds, and ploughs;
  • our fuel-efficient stove programme is helping protect Darfur’s fragile environment by reducing the need for firewood and charcoal. Last year a workshop was launched that is now employing displaced people to assemble more than 9,000 stoves for distribution;
  • rehabilitating a nursery, and planting tens of thousands of tree seedlings around camps and schools for displaced people.


Latest news

More than 1 million languish in Darfur camps as new waves of violence force 100,000 more to flee

March 20, 2014

The escalating violence that has gripped Darfur in recent weeks has forced over 100,000 civilians to flee their homes and villages. Many of the Darfuris who have fled have no access to essential humanitarian assistance and are unable to reach safety. Oxfam has launched a response aimed at reaching more than 90,000 people with clean water, emergency latrines, and critical supplies like plastic sheeting for shelter and soap to help prevent outbreaks of disease.

One year on, South Sudan falters under failing economy

July 6, 2012

One year after South Sudan’s independence on July 9, the young country is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since the end of the war in 2005, under the weight of severe economic meltdown and ongoing conflict. Long-term and emergency efforts to help nearly half the population, who don’t have enough to eat, could be derailed by an economy out of control, warned the international aid agency Oxfam.

South Sudan facing most violent year since end of civil war

May 25, 2011

South Sudan is facing its most violent year since the end of the civil war in 2005, international agency Oxfam warned today, and it urged the UN Security Council, as it visits the region, to ensure that civilians are better protected.

Latest blogs

New violence in Darfur drives families from their homes

April 1, 2014

In a camp where Oxfam is providing clean water, a visitor meets two women who have lost nearly everything but their lives.

Darfur timeline: 10 years on

March 4, 2013

Ten years aftermajor armed conflict, hundreds of thousands of people still live in the shadow of war.  

South Darfur diaires: Stories of our emergency response to the crisis in Darfur and Chad

September 7, 2004

Oxfam's Gemma Swart travelled with trucks delivering aid to Gereida camp for internally displaced people in South Darfur. The camp has recently seen thousands of new arrivals fleeing renewed violence in South Darfur.

Latest stories

June 6, 2007

Renowned war photographer Don McCullin travelled to Chad with Oxfam. His images show the desperate conditions that people affected by the crisis are being forced to live in.

May 28, 2007

Day 1 The drive to Abu Shouk camp takes under 15 minutes from Oxfam’s office in El Fasher. Before leaving town glimpses of the camp, home to over 56,000 people, can be seen through gaps between buildings. What hits you first as you enter the camp is a feeling of permanency. It feels like a town. People have built walls around their shelters, and many plastic shelters have been remade with bricks. Erected in rows, at the end of each row is a street name…N15…N9…W2. This feeling that it’s going to be a long stay is confirmed again and again …‘We have no ray of hope of returning home.’  Abu Shouk camp opened 3 years ago this month…it’s an unhappy anniversary.

April 2, 2007

Almost straddling the border of Darfur and Chad, and less than 30 kilometres from the Central African Republic, the town of Um Dukhun perfectly illustrates the increasingly regional nature of the Darfur crisis, spilling over into neighbouring countries. Before the conflict it was a small town famous for its market that attracted traders from all over the region. Today, as well as people seeking refuge from violence and attacks on villages elsewhere in Darfur, thousands of refugees from Chad have sought shelter here. In recent months refugees have also arrived from the CAR.

You can help with future emergencies

Oxfam aims to respond immediately to humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters, but we can only do this if we have funds ready when they are needed. You can help: