The activities proposed hereafter are still subject to the adoption of the financing decision ECHO/WWD/ BUD/2013/01000
1 . CONTEXT
Chad is a large but sparsely populated land-locked country, with a population of 11,506,000, bordered by Sudan, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroun and the Central African Republic (CAR). Roughly 60% of the national territory is desert, 25% falls in the semi-arid Sahel belt, while the remaining 15% approaches sub-tropical conditions but is subject to flooding.
The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) 2011 Human Development Index places Chad 183rd out of 187 countries. The Gross national income (GNI) per capita is USD 1,105 per person. Life expectancy at birth is 49.6 years, while the 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births is 1,200, the second highest worldwide. One in every five children is born with low birth weight and exclusive breastfeeding is practiced by only 3.3% of Chadian women. The European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) has assigned a Vulnerability and Crisis Index score of 3/3, its most severe ranking.
Chad suffers from chronically poor governance and is emerging from a long period of civil conflict. Following the normalization of relations with Sudan in 2010, ending several years of proxy war during which each country supported each other’s rebel groups, parliamentary, presidential and local elections were held in 2011 and 2012.
Chad relies on oil revenues (20% of GDP), foreign assistance and foreign capital for most public and private sector investment projects. Oil exports started in 2004, and the peak production capacity of known oil fields has already been reached. Cotton, cattle, and gum arabic provide the bulk of Chad's non-oil export earnings.
Officially, at least 80% of Chad's population relies on subsistence farming and raising livestock for its livelihood. Although difficult to quantify, remittances are also an important source of income. Inflows of remittances to Chad's impoverished Sahel regions from Libya have dried up since the conflict there in 2011, and this continues to affect an already fragile livelihood base.
In 2012, 3.6 million people nationwide were affected by a food and nutrition crisis linked to poor harvests and high market prices for basic commodities. This situation was compounded by trade restrictions due to regional instability in Libya, Nigeria and to a lesser extent, Sudan. A massive food-aid, cash and voucher response has stabilized the situation by maintaining the food security status of vulnerable segments of the population, but this has done little to improve overall conditions.
Eight of the nine regions of Chad's Sahel belt present Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) and Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) rates above emergency thresholds, with five hovering around 20% (Batha, Kanem, Hadjer Lamis, Bahr El Ghazal, Wadi Fira). The capital city N’djamena and the region of Guera are considered critical, while Salamat, known as the bread-basket of Chad, records a GAM rate of 16%. This not only points to a difficult food security situation, but to the complex nature of malnutrition in Chad, where land access and access to basic health care, clean water, hygiene and appropriate infant feeding practices are a major challenge.
Coverage of SAM and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) treatment by DG ECHO partners increased significantly in 2012, both in terms of children treated (up to 150,000 expected) and the number of health districts supported (roughly 45% of functional health centers provide nutritional services, although the degree of outreach is dependent on the presence of an NGO partner). This scale-up is encouraging, although less than 50% of children have access to appropriate treatment, while effective prevention strategies are lacking and the involvement of government and development partners remains extremely weak.
Recurrent drought (2009/2010, 2011/2012), floods (2010) and epidemics (measles, meningitis, cholera) pose additional risks for a population with limited coping strategies. State services are largely ineffective with only partial coverage and insufficient human resources, particularly in the health sector. Chad's recent history is characterized by widespread internal conflict resulting in displacement (98,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 83,000 returnees) and compounded by competition for limited resources, as well as the spill-over from conflicts in neighbouring Darfur (288,000 refugees), Central African Republic (56,000 refugees) and Libya (over 90,000 registered returns), the sum total of which contributes to the ongoing complex emergency in Chad affecting half a million conflict-related displaced persons, refugees and returnees.