Chad Project Update - January 2011
For Chad, 2010 was characterized by a dramatic rise in humanitarian needs, primarily nutritional, and more recently exacerbated by the spread of water-borne diseases.
Unpredictable heavy rainfall and flooding during the summer of 2010, combined with extremely low availability of safe water (for example there is only 44.7% coverage across the country, and 12% of hygienic sanitation facilities according to UNICEF) has made cholera an inevitable epidemic in Chad.
Within a month of the mid-August floods 735 cholera cases including 46 deaths were reported by the Government of Chad. By December 6,369 cases of cholera and 180 related deaths have been documented according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).
At the end of 2010 over 2.5 million people were deemed ‘vulnerable’, a dramatic increase from 500,000 in 2009. Inclusive in this figure are 500,000 refugees still dependent on humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that approximately 43,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned home with a further 30,000 ready to return in 2011. However, this remains uncertain as lack of security, basic needs and access to services, limit the voluntary return of refugees.
For 2011, ensuring long-term solutions to enable the return of refugees and minimize dependency on aid will be the main challenge for humanitarian agencies.
Current Challenges to our Project
In terms of the IDPs and refugee situation, Action Against Hunger remains concerned regarding the Health and Nutritional status of our target communities, and are continually monitoring the situation.
ACF are also concerned that the withdrawal of the United Nations peace keeping forces on the 31st December 2010 may create challenges in securing a stable and conducive humanitarian space and that full access to our beneficiaries may become increasingly difficult. This also is being monitored.
Another issue identified is the lack and deterioration of health centres, for example, Medicines Sans Frontieres (MSF-France) have ended their support in the region. With limited drugs sent out in the recent months, there is a possibility of reduced or no support being available by early 2011. This situation is also being monitored very closely.
Despite the focus on the spread of water-borne diseases in this update, our needs assessment identifies that 35% of under-five’s continue to suffer from acute malnutrition. This figure persists to exceed the 15% emergency threshold for acute malnutrition stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
However, thanks to your kind donations, Action Against Hunger continues to make critical and positive changes despite these challenges, and deliver life saving treatment for those 1000’s affected by acute malnutrition in the project area of western Chad.
Thankfully, forecasted cereal production and pastoral conditions are extremely encouraging for 2011. Nevertheless, Chad has yet to fully recover from its humanitarian crises of 2010, and the needs remain vast. It is therefore critical to address both immediate and long-term needs for malnourished children and their families, and every donation we receive, no matter how small, is essentially life-saving. We hope you will continue to help us.
For this, we need your care, your compassion and your continued support.
Nicole Ng – Operations & Programme Funding Administrator – January 2011