FROM THE FIELD: Chad returnees’ reluctant homecoming

A family of 15 at the Djako returnee site in southern Chad.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Citizens of Chad who have spent most of their lives as refugees in neighbouring Central African Republic (CAR) have been talking to the UN humanitarian affairs office, OCHA, about the challenges they have faced returning to their home country.

Some 115,000 Chadians have reluctantly crossed back over the border, since fighting erupted in CAR in 2013, but many of these “returnees” are unable to access basic services and have to rely on humanitarian aid.

The Djako settlement in the south of the country is made up of around 1,100 people including 900 women and children. Many complain of dilapidated shelters, poor access to healthcare, few employment opportunities and a bleak future for young people.

A 2019 UN-backed $477 million humanitarian aid package for Chad for was “critically underfunded,” according to OCHA with just over half of the required funds provided by international donors.

Read more here about how people cope when home is an unfamiliar place.

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