WFP Scales Up Operations in Chad to Respond to Sahel Crisis
Published on 13 April 2012

 A mother and child leave a distribution site. WFP / Ramada Abderahim Ndiaye

 In the Sahelian band of Chad, where pastures are extremely dry and harvests are poor after erratic rains, 1.2 million people will require emergency food assistance over the coming months.

NDJAMENA - Cereal production has fallen by 50% compared to 2010. In addition, food prices are high: 28% above the 5-year average in Ndjaména and 50% above the 5-year average in the surplus producing area of Bol in south-western Chad. 
A recent WFP food security assessment showed that this combination of poor harvests and high food prices means that 3.6 million people are food insecure in Chad. Food insecurity and malnutrition levels are generally high in Chad and the recent drought is exacerbating an already precarious situation.  
WFP Chad’s protracted relief and recovery operation has been scaled up to support the extended lean season needs of those worst-affected by the drought and will target a total of 1.52 million people in 2012. Operation activities include blanket-feeding for children aged 6-23 months and nursing women, general food distributions during the lean season, targeted supplementary feeding for malnourished children aged 6-59 months and pregnant and nursing women, and food for work activities. 
Dispatches of commodities for the school meals programme, nutrition interventions and food‐for‐work activities are currently ongoing. At the end of March, two flights arrived in Ndjamena carrying about 180 metric tons of Plumpy Doz, a fortified peanut paste to prevent malnutrition, urgently needed in Eastern Chad to kick‐start the blanket supplementary feeding. 
Alongside these activities, school meals are provided to 205,000 children in the areas of the country most at risk of food insecurity and with enrolment rates below the national average, as well as general food distributions to around 270,000 refugees from Sudan and 52,000 Central African Republic 
WFP Chad faces many logistical challenges: long lead times to bring the food into the country, parts of the country are inaccessible during the rainy season from June to October and the need to preposition food.  Contributions are urgently needed to ensure that WFP can respond adequately to the 2012 crisis.