The situation on the ground has changed: a tragic food crisis has impacted our ability to increase women’s safety through the Solar Cooker Project.
The current conditions in Chad have presented us with new challenges: food insecurity has become the primary and most immediately pressing safety and security risk to the refugees. The World Food Program and United Nations Refugee Agency have cut food rations due to increased demand for WFP and UNHCR assistance around the globe. Refugees in Chad are receiving less than 850 calories per person/per day, and some refugees report receiving closer to 250-500 calories per person/per day. To learn more about the food crisis click here.
In response to this desperate situation, we must overhaul how we serve these refugees.
Any organization working in regions affected by conflict, poor governance, and poverty – such as Eastern Chad where the Darfuris reside – must be nimble, and make changes to projects as dictated by the current situation on the ground. As such, JWW conducted several evaluations of the SCP over the years. We reviewed the evaluations thoughtfully and have continually adjusted the Solar Cooker Project as needed. Previous evaluations all pointed to one overall conclusion: the project was working.
Under these new conditions of severe food insecurity, the basic model of preventing trips outside the camp is no longer feasible. Many men, women and children are choosing to leave the camps in order to do whatever they must to get more food for their families. After careful consideration, we are suspending the work of the Solar Cooker Project, and turning our attention to increasing food rations and supporting programs that allow the Darfuri refugees to become more self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency will protect the Darfuri refugee community from the inconstancy of over-stressed international aid funding.
Until significant political progress is made in Sudan, and it is safe for the Darfuris to return home, their dire situation in Chad must be improved. We at JWW are determined to find initiatives which provide sustainable solutions to support the refugees, and will be able to do so with your continued support. In keeping with the very purpose of the Solar Cooker Project, we will support and lead efforts to keep women and girls safe from sexual violence. The Solar Cooker Project was in essence a human security project, and we will continue to keep that as a central focus in all our work to empower and support the Darfuri people.