In Chad, Central African refugee keeps hope alive

African woman while cooking food African woman while cooking food © Photo by USO on iStock

As fighting between government forces and rebel groups continued in the Central African Republic (CAR), Zara and her four children walked for a day to arrive near the border of Chad.

Once there, Zara, 30, crossed the border into Chad and arrived at Doholo refugee camp, in the town of Choda: “I had some savings which I took with me, and I was already selling crepes back in my country,” Zara said. “I needed to do something to cover the needs of my children, to feed them, put clothes on them. I need to give them a better future, even if we are in exile.[…] Now I prepare doughnuts to sell, so I have  a way to look after my children”.

Fighting erupted in Central African Republic (CAR) in 2013, after rebels ousted President Francois Bozize. Since then, the country has experienced devastating violence that has forced close to 1.5 million to flee and sight refuge in neighbouring countries such as Chad, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to the United Nations High Commissioer for Refugees (UNHCR), 221,694 Central African Refugees are currently living in the DRC. However, only 26% of these refugees live in the four refugee camps managed by UNHCR in North and South Ubangi Province; in fact the majority live on riverbanks in hard-toreach border areas, often within host communities with limited resources. Their living conditions are dire. They often have little or no access to clean water, sanitation facilities, or food. came after last December’s presidential and parliamentary elections and displaced 250,000, many within their own country. Others, like Zara, have sought refuge in neighbouring countries such as and elsewhere.  




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