Chad is a landlocked Sahelian country in central Africa, with one of the highest levels of hunger in the world – 42 percent of its population live below the poverty line. A low-income country with limited income-generating opportunities and restricted access to social services, it is ranked 190th out of 191 countries in the 2021-22 Human Development Index.
Regional conflicts, in combination with environmental degradation, rapid desertification and intercommunal tension over diminishing natural resources, have contributed to worsening hunger and poverty in the country. A total 2.1 million people were acutely food insecure in 2023 and the country has seen its worst lean season in a decade.
Chad is host to more than 1 million refugees – one of the largest and fastest-growing refugee populations in Africa. The recent conflict in neighbouring Sudan has driven hundreds of thousands more across the border.
Serious funding shortfalls and resources redirected to the refugee crisis in the East mean that internally displaced people in Lake Chad – where over 200,000 are located – have not received any assistance in months. WFP data shows that 40 percent of internally displaced people have poor food consumption – a major deterioration from 14 percent in 2022.
WFP is warning of a looming halt to food and nutrition assistance to 1.4 million crisis-affected populations – including newly arrived Sudanese refugees – due to the funding constraints. We urgently require US$185 million to ensure continued support to crisis-affected people over the next six months.
The country is among the worst affected by the global climate emergency. Many depend on farming and livestock for their livelihoods, but advancing agricultural practices is challenging as rain patterns are changing and droughts are frequent. This places even more strain on vulnerable families living in the Sahelian belt.
Over 31 percent of children aged under 5 suffer from stunting, according to the 2022 Global Nutrition Report, with low height for their age caused by chronic malnutrition. The health of pregnant and breastfeeding women is poor, with high maternal mortality rates due to inadequate access to health services. Access to basic education is also limited.
The Government’s overall main development priorities are embedded in Vision 2030: the Chad We Want, a strategic framework to be implemented through consecutive development plans.
The World Food Programme runs a variety of activities in Chad, with a focus on life-saving emergency activities and strengthening the country’s long-term resilience. In our mission to end food insecurity and malnutrition, we continue to work alongside the Government and other UN agencies and partners.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Chad
WFP is aiming to support approximately 3 million vulnerable people affected by chronic food insecurity and climate-related disasters in 2022. WFP provides cash-based transfers to enable vulnerable internally displaced people to buy food from local markets, boosting the economy. We provide food to refugees, returnees and vulnerable local communities during the lean season.
Support for refugees, IDPs and host communities
WFP provides life-saving food and nutritional assistance to over 530,000 refugees from Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), Nigeria and Cameroon, and 230,000 displaced persons in the Lake province. In support of the government’s National Response Plan for the lean season, WFP is aiming to assist 1,061,040 people in the Sahelian belt from June to September 2022. 102,000 Chadians, who fled violence in CAR in 2013, still live in transit sites and host villages in the South of Chad.
WFP supports the Ministry of Health in the coordination of nutrition activities and the implementation of moderate acute malnutrition health care. We provide nutrition support to babies aged 6 months to 2 years to prevent malnutrition, children under 5 to treat malnutrition, with pregnant and breastfeeding women also receiving nutritional support. In 2021, WFP reached 458,000 children and 235,400 pregnant and nursing women with specialised nutritious foods to prevent or treat acute malnutrition or address vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
WFP supports the Ministry of Education, regional and local educational authorities, schools, and communities with technical assistance and provides school meals to preschools and primary schools as well as assistance to adolescent girls to increase attendance rates. WFP provides nutritious school meals to children in food insecure areas of the Sahel, where food production is poor even in relatively good years. School meals encourage school enrolment, which is low in these regions. We also provide an emergency school meal programme in the Lake Chad region. In 2021, WFP school meals reached a total of 200,000 school children.
WFP has continued to scale up the integrated resilience programme and reached nearly 486,000 people in more than 211 villages across the Sahel, who benefitted from asset creation activities. Since the beginning of the scale-up in 2018, together with the communities and partners, WFP has rehabilitated nearly 2,600 hectares of degraded land and created some 385 hectares of gardens – the equivalent of almost 4,200 football fields - to produce fresh vegetables and fruits.
UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)
WFP manages the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) on behalf of the humanitarian community in Chad, with 21 destinations throughout the country served by four aircraft carrying personnel and light cargo. UNHAS is a critical enabler of humanitarian and development assistance in Chad. Its network is strategically structured to provide maximum coverage of the country’s large land surface. In 2021, a total of 105 humanitarian organizations and 10,600 passengers relied on UNHAS to carry out their vital work in Chad.
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