‘We’re playing Whac-A-Mole’: why the aid system is broken

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Calls for drastic overhaul of funding as conflicts and climate crisis drive surge in humanitarian needs and appeals fall short

The queue for water at Metche, a camp of 40,000 refugees on the Sudan-Chad border, starts at dawn and lasts until sunset. The aid agencies helping the people there, who fled fighting in Sudan earlier this year, do not have enough money to drill boreholes, so there is a chronic water shortage.

Latrines have also yet to be dug and the desert around the camp serves as an open-air toilet. There are no blankets or mosquito nets, even though nights are cold and the area is plagued by malaria. There are similar shortages at all the hastily built camps for the 500,000 refugees who have crossed into Chad since Sudan’s war erupted in April.

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