Chad is facing conflict-induced displacements, destructive rains, floods, loss of crops and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Over 3 million schoolchildren (58 per cent girls) are affected by nationwide school closures; almost 1.8 million children under 5 years are suffering from global acute malnutrition, including 500,000 who are severely malnourished; and over 300,000 refugee children are at risk of not being vaccinated.
UNICEF will implement a multi-sectoral and gender-sensitive strategy linking humanitarian action and development programming. This will include disease outbreak prevention and control, including in relation to COVID-19, early detection, quality treatment for severe acute malnutrition (SAM), distance and school-based learning, school materials for displaced, returnee and refugee children; and capacity building for the provision of care, referrals and psychosocial support.
UNICEF requests US$59.5 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Chad. Thirty per cent of these funds will support the COVID-19 response.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
Chad ranks 187 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index, and 6.5 million Chadians live in poverty. COVID-19 has further reduced children's well-being and plunged at least 744,000 additional children into poverty. By the end of 2020, some 6.4 million people – over one third of the population – will require humanitarian assistance, up from 5.3 million in 2020.
Population displacements continue, with people fleeing non-state armed groups in the Lake Chad Basin and seeking refuge from neighbouring countries. Nearly 480,000 refugees reside in Chad, and some 397,000 Chadians are internally displaced, including 46,000 people who are newly displaced and 76,000 refugees who arrived in 2020 and need humanitarian assistance, including psychosocial support. Insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin is limiting humanitarian capacity to respond.
An estimated 2.7 million people in Chad are food insecure. Malnutrition data, adjusted to account for COVID-19 and the degradation in food security, show that nearly 1.8 million children (12.9 per cent) are affected by global acute malnutrition, including nearly 498,000 children (2.9 per cent) suffering from SAM.
Before the pandemic, over 3.7 million children were out of school. Current estimates indicate that over 3 million children (58 per cent girls), including over 100,000 refugees, nearly 84,000 internally displaced children and over 57,000 returning children, have been affected by nationwide school closures. In addition, nearly 140,000 students no longer have access to school canteens. Fear of infection has also led to declining health facility-based deliveries (3.9 per cent of expected deliveries) and may leave over 311,000 children unprotected by the pentavalent vaccine. Projections also indicate that infant and maternal mortality could increase by 11 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively, during the next 12 months.
The fragile health system is under severe pressure from outbreaks of measles, cholera and chikungunya. Half of the population has access to safe drinking water, only 1 person in 10 has access to adequate sanitation, and only 1 child in 17 washes their hands regularly. Children remain extremely vulnerable to physical and sexual violence and psychosocial distress, as well as recruitment into armed forces and exploitation. In displacement sites, 60 per cent of at risk children are separated or unaccompanied, and gender-based violence is increasing among internally displaced persons and in host communities.