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What are the current issues in Chad

Chad is an arid, low-income and landlocked country suffering from chronic food insecurity. Conflict in neighbouring countries has put additional pressure on already-limited resources, and Chad now hosts an estimated 450,000 refugees, primarily from Central African Republic and Sudan.

High levels of poverty in Chad have been aggravated by numerous conflicts during the last 50 years of independence, and ethnic tensions have contributed to political and economic instability and poor economic development. Eighty-seven percent of the rural population lives below the poverty line. Access to basic education remains limited due to a lack of infrastructure and persistent food insecurity; net enrolment rates are just 63 percent, and adult literacy rates are 34 percent (2011). Chad ranks 184 out of 187 countries on the 2013 UNDP Human Development Index.

Chad relies external assistance to ensure food security, especially in the Sahelian zone. Erratic rains, cyclical droughts, locust infestations and poor farming practices negatively affect cereal production. Food insecurity in Chad is primarily caused by a lack of access to food. Despite progress achieved, more than three million rural Chadians are in need of humanitarian assistance, while 790,000 people need emergency food assistance.

In addition to persistent food insecurity, child malnutrition is a major threat to the population. However, the nutritional situation in the country’s Sahelian belt remains fragile; five regions have rates above ten percent (Bahr El Ghazal, Batha, Kanem, Lac, Wadi Fira) while in six regions surpass the 15 percent emergency threshold during the lean season (Bahr El Ghazal, Batha, Kanem, Lac, Ouaddai, Wadi Fira). Malnutrition is also a concern among refugees and people fleeing the most recent crisis in C.A.R. Although no nutritional survey has been undertaken so far, estimates suggest that as many as 14 percent of the children screened at some sites in Southern Chad are suffering from acute malnutrition, and the situation appears to be deteriorating.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Chad

WFP has implemented four main operations in Chad: a protracted relief and recovery operation, a school feeding programme, an emergency operation and UNHAS flight services.

WFP’s main activities in Chad are carried out through its relief and recovery operation, a three-year programme launched in January 2012. The project aims improve nutrition by reducing moderate acute malnutrition of children under five and young mothers and preventing acute malnutrition among children less than two years of age. The project also looks to ensure adequate food consumption for food-insecure Chadian families and targeted Sudanese and Central African refugees living in Chad. In Chad’s post-conflict context, WFP is also working to strengthen the resilience of communities to shocks and to restore livelihoods and food security.

WFP carries out a number of activities to achieve these objectives, including general food distributions, voucher transfers, prevention and treatment activities for moderate acute malnutrition, and food assistance for assets. Assistance targets around1.3 million people in 2014, and the project’s three-year budget totals USD$561 million.

WFP’s school feeding project in Chad – entitled “Support for Primary and Girls’ Education” – aims to improve the enrolment, attendance and primary school retention rates of children from vulnerable rural households. The project has a special focus on gender; in addition to daily hot meals served at school to all primary school children, WFP provides families of girls in grade five and six with a monthly take-home ration of oil to encourage parents to send girls to school. The school feeding programme targets 265,000 primary school children and has a budget of USD$19 million.

Following an appeal to the international community by the Chadian Government in January 2014, WFP Chad launched an emergency operation to respond to the needs of people who fled violence in Central African Republic. WFP provides voucher transfers and general food distributions for people taking refuge at sites in Southern Chad, as well as nutrition support for children and mothers. The budget of this operation is USD 14.8 over a six-month period.

In support of the humanitarian community in Chad, WFP manages the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS). Four aircrafts provide a link to 17 destinations throughout the country for both personnel and light cargo. Aircraft operations have bases in various locations in the country, including N’Djamena, Abéché and Goz Beida.

WFP has been present in Chad since 1968.

Featured Chad publications

  • Chad: WFP Country Brief (PDF, 442 KB)

    A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.

Looking for more publications on Chad? Visit the Chad publications archive.