Chad faces a combination of rapid-onset and protracted humanitarian crises that have been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 5.5 million people, including 2.7 million children, will require humanitarian assistance in 2022.2
Insecurity has led to increased population displacements, primarily of women and children, due to conflict, within the country and in neighbouring countries. Chad is affected by exceptionally heavy floods and epidemics. Children remain at risk of malnutrition. They are prone to recruitment by non-state armed groups. Access to basic services remains limited.
UNICEF will provide a timely, coordinated and life-saving multi-sectoral humanitarian response in provinces facing recurrent population displacement and other crises, focusing on the needs of children and women.
UNICEF requires US$62.4 million to provide assistance to vulnerable children and women affected by multiple humanitarian crises, with a focus on nutrition, education, WASH, and protection from violence, preventing further erosion of Chad's already fragile systems. A systematic gender lens will be used in all analysis and programme design.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
The humanitarian situation in Chad is best described as a prolonged multidimensional crisis caused by continued population displacements due to violence, natural disasters (including flooding and rainfall deficits), persistent food insecurity, high rates of malnutrition, economic crisis and political instability. Chad continues to rank 187 out of 189 countries on the Human Development Index, and an estimated 6.4 million Chadians live in poverty. Following political events in April 2021, the country entered into an 18-month transitional period with a transition government.
In 2021, there was an increase in people fleeing non-state armed groups in the Lake Chad Basin and seeking refuge from neighbouring countries. Nearly 520,129 refugees reside in Chad and some 402,000 Chadians are internally displaced, a 136 per cent increase since January 2020,10 including 46,000 people who are newly displaced and 41,47811 refugees who arrived in 2021 and require humanitarian assistance. Insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin is limiting humanitarian actors’ capacity to respond.
The nutritional situation remains alarming in Chad. According to the SMART 2020 survey, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition in children under 5 years of age is 10 per cent, including 2.1 per cent of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). It is estimated that 1.9 million12 acutely malnourished children aged 6 to 59 months will require treatment.
Despite progress, enormous challenges remain for vulnerable children to access quality education services across Chad, with 56.8 per cent of primary school-age children missing out on primary or secondary education.13 The number of displaced children needing access to education increased by 18 per cent between 2020 and 2021,14 stressing an already struggling education system to provide for all displaced children.
The fragile health system is under severe pressure from outbreaks of measles and the COVID-19 pandemic and remains vulnerable to epidemics such as cholera and chikungunya. Climate change continues to impact Chad,15 increasing water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) needs across the country. The mortality rate attributable to unsafe WASH in Chad is 101/100,000, the highest in the world.16 In 2021, increased rainfall in some areas reached five-year highs with floods impacting 255,04417 people, while low rainfall in other areas could impact food and nutrition security in 2022.
More than 374,00018 displaced children remain extremely vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, psychosocial distress and exploitation, as well as recruitment by non-state armed groups.19 Gender-based violence is increasing among internally displaced persons and in host communities.