The humanitarian crisis in Chad remain severe, with 4.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Violence, displacement and lack of essential services have seriously impacted the resilience of already vulnerable populations. Humanitarian organizations are working with the Government of Chad to respond to the crisis and gain access to people in need, but insecurity and financial constraints remain major challenges.
The humanitarian community in Chad is requesting US$476,6 million to reach 2 million of the most vulnerable people amid high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, displacement and epidemics. These crises combined have increased the vulnerability of millions of people who are already faced with low local development and poverty, which affects communities's resilience.
"This Plan fits in the multiannual framework 2017-2019. This strategy allows to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs while identifying and guiding the relevant actors towards the root causes of humanitarian needs that expose more than 7.5 million people to acute or chronic vulnerability, 4.3 millions of whom require humanitarian assistance", said Stephen Tull, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad. "The chronic nature of the humanitarian crisis in Chad also calls for strengthening our capacity to respond and to invest more in preventive actions to mitigate the risks and prevent further shocks."
Worsening food crisis
Although food insecurity has decreased by 18 per cent in 2019 due to a good agricultural season, 3.7 million people remain food insecure, with 2.2 million people suffering from malnutrition - a 29 per cent increase compared to last year over the same period.
It is estimated that 3.7 million people will be food insecure in Chad during the lean season (June-August 2019). Of those, more than 519,000 people will be severely food insecure. The nutritional situation is critical for 350,000 children - a 59 per cent increase compared to last year.
Little hope for those who want to return home
There are over 650,000 displaced people in Chad, with continued displacements in the Lac region caused by ongoing conflict. In addition, prospects of returning home for refugees from the Central African Republic and Sudan also remain very limited due to ongoing violence adn insecurity in their countries of origin.
|"I fled three years ago", Ashta told us. "We walked four or five days to arrive right here. We were many. I didn't even have clothes with me. The villagers and the village chief here gave us food and clothes.
Over there in my village I had gardens, sixty mango trees, and fields corn, but I had to leave everything behind when I left. At time the attack, I left all i had in my house and came here barefoot. Since I arrived here three years ago, I have never returned to my village."
Today in Chad there are close to 657,000 displaced people - 51 per cent are women and girls. Of those, 450,000 are refugees or asylum seekers, and 124,000 are internally displaced, 51,000 are IDPs who have returned to their village of origine, and 81,000 are Chadian returnees. Displacement is putting a strain on host communities who already struggle to survive.
The highest mortality rate in the world
The dysfunctional health structures, exacerbated by weak development, widespread poverty among the population and low immunization coverage (ranging between 10 and 37 per cent), limit access to health care for more than 2 million vulnerable people, including children under five, pregnant and lactating women and displaced and nomadic populations.
A measles epidemic continues to affect 39 out of 117 health districts in the country. The population is also exposed to other diseases such as cholera and hepatitis E. The prevalence of other diseases (malaria, meningitis, neonatal tetanus, respiratory infections acute) is high and the mortality rate (133 per 1,000) remains among the highest in the world. Maternal deaths account for 45 per cent of all deaths of women aged 15 to 49 years. The high rate of early marriages puts adolescent girls at high risk.
Low investment in health, low immunization coverage, limited access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation and limited access to primary health care are the root causes of such a grim scenario.
Despite the evident needs, last year's plan remained severely underfunded, with less than 53 per cent of the requirements having been met. "Chad, home to many and an island of stability in a troubled region, needs the renewed generosity of donors", concluded Mr. Tull. "For this reason, I call on the international community to continue to support the country in order to respond to the problems it faces in an effective and coordinated way."
Photos: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte