As of 3 February, there have been 3,433 reported cases and 121 deaths in 17 provinces. Between 27 January and 3 February, 137 new cases and three deaths were reported. Health personnel represents 5.5 per cent of all confirmed cases (187 people), an increase of 0.5 per cent or 25 people compared to last week. Following un upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the Lac province (from five cases and one death in May 2020 to a sudden 43 cases and two deaths in January 2021), the humanitarian community responded with multifaceted emergency support consisting of hygiene and sanitation supplies, medicines, food, fuel, equipment, and human resource capacity. This follows an appeal launched by the Provincial Health Delegate on behalf of the Governor of the Province. In the South, in light of the many cross-border movements of people from the Central African Republic (CAR), meetings of the COVID-19 pandemic management committee have been reactivated on the recommendation of the prefect of the department of Nya Pendé. A management strategy to accommodate new refugees from CAR in host villages has also been recommended to curb the spread of the pandemic in denselypopulated environments. Although the incidence rate appears to be slowly declining all over the country (two weeks ago the number of confirmed cases was 263, last week it was 203) the Chadian Government continues to encourage strict observation of preventive measures. (WHO situation reports, UNHCR reports, OCHA)
IMF reaches agreement with Chad on credit and fund facility: In response to a request from the Chadian authorities, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission held virtual meetings during 3-14 December and on 25 January to discuss IMF financial support to the authorities’ economic reform program. The mission had working sessions with Ministers, as well as exchanges with representatives of the oil sector and Chad’s technical and financial partners. The four-year program that could be supported by IMF resources of about USD 560 million under extended credit facility (ECF) and extended fund facility (EFF) aims to anchor the government’s policy and reform efforts, aimed at bolstering the country’s response to the pandemic and at laying the foundation for a green and inclusive economic recovery and restoring debt sustainability. Key policy actions under the home-grown program supported by the IMF will focus on advancing the authorities’ structural reform agenda to support inclusive growth and poverty reduction, as well as addressing fragilities, and restoring debt sustainability via growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and an ambitious debt restructuring. The IMF recognizes that Chad continues to face serious challenges from the combined shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, terms of trade, climate change, and heightened regional insecurity. Lower oil prices and oil production, and domestic containment measures are weighing on the outlook, and are causing significant adverse economic and social effects. This agreement is subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board and receipt of the necessary financing assurances. This would come in addition to recent previous pledges and grants from other international bodies to support Chad’s economic reform program.
Alarming humanitarian situation of returnee sites in the South. The situation of Chadian returnees settled across various sites in the South is becoming increasingly worrying. A visit from OCHA and SECADEV (Secours Catholique et Développement) at the sites of Kobiteye and Danamadja in the Nya Pende department this week observed an alarming deterioration in their living conditions. The lack of financial resources, which resulted in the almost complete withdrawal of humanitarian partners from the area, has been made worse by the COVID19 pandemic which prevented humanitarian organizations from monitoring the situation, raising alerts and advocating with partners, national actors and donors. The last food assistance WFP was able to provide was in August 2020. Water, hygiene and sanitation services are below Sphere standards: at the two returnee sites, less than half of the total boreholes are functional (12 out of 25 in Kobiteye and 10 out of 23 in Danamadja), with the hot season approaching, the situation risks further deterioration. Open defecation is widely practiced at the sites due to lack of services. Very few people have access to the Danamadja health center due to lack of funds to cover medical expenses. With regard to education, only a few parents have managed to enroll their children in school. Some returnees claim that this situation has forced to attempt to register as new asylum seekers arriving from CAR to obtain refugee status and receive some assistance at the camp level. A similar situation is reported in Maingama and Sido sites in Moyen Chari province. OCHA has recommended a verification of numbers in the returnee sites to obtain the precise number of remaining residents since many have reportedly already left the sites looking for better living conditions elsewhere. (OCHA, SECADEV)
Number of CAR refugees fleeing into Chad on the rise. Over the past month, thousands of refugees have fled the Central African Republic (CAR) due to increasing insecurity linked to the presidential elections in the country. For security and COVID-19 reasons, the border between Chad and CAR is officially closed. However, the Chadian Government has made an exception by opening its borders to Central African refugees and, in line with their publicly-stated commitments, offering them asylum space. In a briefing to partners and donors, UNHCR reported the number of new refugees at 5,833 as of 25 January, with an average daily rate of new arrivals equal to 167 individuals. UNHCR is contingency planning for an influx of up to 30,000 new refugees. If these predictions prove to be correct, additional human and financial resources will be needed for an effective and efficient response to the emergency. At the moment, cohabitation between refugees and host communities has been good, but the needs in host villages are steadily increasing as the number of new arrivals spikes. There are considerable humanitarian needs for the refugees, particularly in terms of protection, health, food, livelihood, education and WASH. (UNHCR, OCHA)
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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