Funding gap deprives thousands of people of humanitarian aid
(N'djamena, 5 September 2019): The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Stephen Tull, expresses his serious concern at the funding gap for humanitarian activities in Chad, while humanitarian needs remain so high. Food insecurity and malnutrition, forced population displacements and health emergencies have brought over 7 million people to a state of acute or chronic vulnerability, including over 4 million people in need of assistance and support to strengthen their livelihoods.
From January to July 2019, the humanitarian situation in the country has deteriorated significantly. An increase in armed attacks and insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin has forced thousands of civilians to leave their communities and seek refuge. The first half of 2019 saw an increase of over 37 per cent in the number of reported cases of severely malnourished children compared to the same period in 2018. In addition, the measles epidemic, declared in late May 2018, continues to spread, with 38 health districts affected and over 20,000 suspected cases recorded since January 2019. The cholera epidemic in the south-west of the country, declared at the end of July, worsens the situation.
Despite this situation, humanitarian funding remains desperately low. Of the US$476.6 million funds required to assist the 2 million people targeted for assistance, the humanitarian community received only about US$163 million, less than 35 per cent, as of 15 August 2019.
According to the Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad, it is not a matter of choosing between emergency and development responses if we want to get out of the vicious cycle of crises in the country. "It is imperative to meet the urgent needs of displaced people, those affected by food insecurity and malnutrition as well as those suffering from epidemics. At the same time, it is important to keep on implementing development activities to prevent these vulnerable people from falling back into crisis. I call on public assistance-providers and private investors in Chad, the region, and globally to dramatically increase their commitments to meeting Chad’s humanitarian and development needs," said Stephen Tull.
Chad hosts over 460,000 refugees, including more than 340,000 Sudanese in the east and 105,000 Central Africans in the south who fled their respective countries because of violence. Over 133,000 Chadians have also been forced to leave their homes for other locations, due to attacks by non-state armed groups and military operations in Lac Province. In addition to these beneficiaries of assistance, there are host communities (more than 700,000 people) who have shared their poor resources with these displaced people and over 640,000 people suffering from severe food insecurity (an increase of over 230,000 people compared to the November 2018 situation).
Chad is a country where humanitarian crises occur in a context of low development, limited access to basic social services such as health, education or potable water, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. Moreover, humanitarian interventions are no longer sufficient and cannot address the root causes of persistent challenges and vulnerabilities. All these factors expose already vulnerable populations to recurrent shocks, affecting their resilience capacity and making an integrated humanitarian and development approach imperative on a larger scale and requiring urgent investment.
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