United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos Remarks at press conference, N'djamena, Chad, 6 May 2014
This is my first visit to Chad and I came for two specific purposes. First of all, to see the impact on Chad of the displaced from the Central African Republic, and also to look at the food insecurity and malnutrition crisis.
I had the opportunity to speak to the President, the Prime Minister, and members of his Government, to members of the United Nations based here, partner organizations and also a number of donor countries that are based here in Chad.
I also had the opportunity to make two field visits. So I had the opportunity to see for myself the situation of the displaced when I visited Gaoui [transit site] this morning, and also this afternoon I went on to Kanem to see the impact of the food insecurity and malnutrition situation.
This morning I was able to see the extremely good work that the United Nations and partners are doing to support the displaced from the Central African Republic but I also got to see some of the conditions, including for women and children who have arrived very recently and do not have shelter and, because they are not registered, are not even able to get access to food.
I hope that my visit will be an opportunity to raise the profile of the impact of the CAR crisis on Chad and be an opportunity for Chad to get recognition as a country that has welcomed refugees not only from Central African Republic but also from Sudan, and also enable us to raise the funding that we require to give people who have fled across the border as well as Chadians who host them the support that they require.
In Kanem [region] I was able to visit a nutrition centre and a therapeutic feeding centre and see the excellent work that is being done between the Government and partners in terms of dealing with the high level of malnutrition.
I think it is very important to remember that Chad, together with a number of other countries across the Sahel, is facing an extremely challenging situation. Year on year, environmental degradation and drought are resulting in higher numbers of people being food and nutrition insecure.
We know that that requires a different approach. We know that we need to deal with the immediate impact, and I saw some of that work today. But we also need to plan for the longer term, to help communities to help build the resilience that they need so that they can overcome the shocks that they face year on year.
The President's personal commitment to tackling the nutrition issue and the Government's national nutrition strategy fit well with the United Nations own humanitarian strategy for the Sahel, and we will continue to work together in the months and years to come to deal with this underlying structural challenge which exists in Chad.
I will continue to be a strong advocate for the people of Chad and do my best to help to raise the resources required to give the support that is needed to help the people of Chad deal with the underlying developmental challenges that the country faces and also with the impact of the refugees from Sudan and Central African Republic.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.