Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world – with 47 per cent of the population living below the poverty line – and is facing multiple humanitarian crises. Some 3.7 million people are food insecure, including an estimated 346,000 children under 5 years suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Measles and cholera outbreaks, which have been aggravated by the precarious water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) situation, have shaken the fragile health system. Insecurity has led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing non-state armed groups in the Lake Chad basin and from neighbouring countries, including the Central African Republic and the Sudan. Following the resurgence of armed conflict in the Lake province, some 42,000 people were newly displaced and 5,000 Nigerian refugees entered the country. Overall, Chad is hosting over 465,000 refugees and 133,000 people are internally displaced. As insecurity increases, children are at risk of gender-based violence, recruitment by armed groups and family separation. In addition, 49 schools were temporarily closed in the Lake region in 2019 (21 per cent of the 227 schools located in insecure areas). The country is also extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters.
UNICEF will implement a multi-sectoral and gender-sensitive humanitarian response in Chad, while strengthening the coherence and linkages between its humanitarian action and development programming in the country. This will include better linking emergency cash transfers with regular social protection programming. As lead of the WASH, education and nutrition clusters and the child protection sub-cluster, UNICEF will reinforce national systems for emergency preparedness and response to ensure the provision of quality basic social services. Malnutrition will be addressed through the management of SAM cases and the provision of preventive interventions through the integrated management of acute malnutrition in 170 new therapeutic nutrition units targeting 856 health centres and health services for children under 5 years and pregnant women, as well as immunization campaigns and routine immunization. UNICEF will deliver quality learning to crisis-affected children; community-based child protection services and mental health and psychosocial support for children and adolescents with referral mechanisms; reintegration services for vulnerable children and survivors of gender-based violence; and continued WASH services during crises. A secondary focus will be on fostering social and behavioural changes within communities to improve programme impact. For all interventions, UNICEF will prioritize collaboration with government authorities and institutions to bolster their capacities to respond to crises.