Chad in Central Africa has one of the highest levels of hunger in the world. Around 87 percent of its mainly rural population lives below the poverty line. High levels of poverty have been exacerbated by numerous conflicts and climate-related disasters over the past 50 years.
People depend on farming and livestock for their livelihoods, but agriculture is challenging as the El Niño weather phenomenon is making rainy seasons unpredictable. This places even more strain on vulnerable families living in the Sahelian belt. Around 40 percent of children under 5 are stunted, according to the World Bank, with low height for their age caused by chronic malnutrition. Maternal health is poor, with high maternal mortality rates due to inadequate access to health services. Access to basic education is also limited.
An influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring countries has put additional pressure on Chad’s already limited resources. In particular, refugees, displaced people and other poor communities in the Lake Chad basin are dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival.
The World Food Programme (WFP) runs a variety of operations in Chad, with focus gradually shifting from emergency relief to strengthening the country’s long-term resilience. In our mission to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition in Chad, we work alongside the Government other UN agencies and partners.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Chad
Food assistanceWFP is supporting 1.4 million vulnerable people affected by chronic food insecurity and climate-related disasters in Chad. In the Lake Chad Basin we provide cash-based transfers to enable vulnerable people to buy food from local markets, boosting the economy. We also provide nutrition support to babies aged six months to two years, helping to prevent malnutrition.
Support for refugeesWFP provides life-saving food and nutritional assistance to 370,000 refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR) hosted in 19 camps and some villages spread from the North-East to the South of Chad. In January 2018, 20,000 people crossed the border from CAR to Chad - the largest movement of refugees from that country, exceeding the total number for 2017 (2,000). 8,500 refugees from Nigeria are also assisted in the Lake Chad region. 102,000 Chadians, who fled violence in CAR in 2013, still live in transit sites and host villages in the South of Chad.
School mealsWFP provides nutritious school meals to 120,000 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, feeding 15,000 children.
UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS)WFP manages the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) on behalf of the humanitarian community in Chad, with 19 destinations throughout the country served by four aircraft carrying personnel and light cargo. Over 120 humanitarian organizations rely on UNHAS to carry out their vital work in Chad.