Your gift ensures that we can pre-prepare emergency supplies for immediate use when there is an emergency situation. Such a situation happened when Merlin decided to send an emergency response team in to Chad (central Africa).
Merlin’s Emergency Team Respond
Merlin’s motto could be ‘ready to respond to all situations’. An Emergency Response Team has been sent to Chad (within the Sahel region of central Africa), to help feed and care for vulnerable families living in remote communities.
Chronic food insecurity has swept across the Sahel region of Africa. More than 15 million people are facing food shortages and over one million children area at risk of severe, acute malnutrition. Low rainfall during 2011, compounded by attacks on crops by birds and locusts, has led to a serious shortage in crops, a lack of pasture and low water levels. The situation continues to get worse and with a peak in food insecurity and malnutrition rates forecast to hit by July 2012
In March 2012, Merlin teams carried out assessments in Chad, to determine health needs and design the most effective response possible. After reviewing the results, an emergency health and nutrition program response was launched immediately using supplies and materials already stocked, which were ready to be used in emergency
Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world. Ranked 183 out of 187 on the Health Development Index, one in
five children die before their fifth birthday and the average life expectancy is only 46 years. Currently, 3.6 million people are in danger of having no food what so ever – the vast majority of these are children.
Merlin is responding now, to make the most of a small window of opportunity to save lives – experts believe without
help deaths will soar from July onwards. This is why Merlin always needs to be prepared, our experience from
similar emergencies - such as the ongoing East Africa Food Crisis – because, unfortunately, media and public response often comes when it is already too late. By reacting now, we can prevent deaths. We aim to stop children becoming malnourished, rather than responding later, once thousands more children have severe, acute malnourishment and hundreds more have died.
Caring for over 250,000 - This emergency response will focus on providing life-saving health and nutritional care for over 40,000 pregnant women, new mothers and children under five. It will also benefit local populations of over 273,000 people.
Merlin’s planned activities
Merlin has implemented an integrated emergency health and nutrition program in the Hadjer Lamis region of western Chad.
This area has huge needs and not has been receiving aid from other INGOs. The critical threshold rate of 15% for Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) has been reached, and families are exposed to communicable disease outbreaks due to their proximity to Lake Chad and dense populations.
Merlin’s activities include
- screening children under five, pregnant women and new mothers for malnutrition,
- establishing 12 outpatient and supplementary feeding sites in existing health centers,
- outreach services and mobile teams to reach more remote areas,
- establishing a stabilization center at the District Hospital for those children requiring
- training and support for local health workers, so they can care for patients within
their local neighborhoods,
- health and nutrition education sessions, and
- ensuring adequate medical and nutrition stocks.
On behalf of all those we care for and everyone at Merlin, thank you for your support.