Food and security crisis: sustainable solutions to emergency
Despite the recent improvement of global figures, Chad is still facing cyclic crisis that impede development, and shows one of the lowest Human Development Index in the world. A quarter of the population is food insecure and malnutrition figures are high. Climate change and security crisis affecting the Lake Chad region put additional pressure on an already structurally vulnerable population. ACTED has been responding to these crises since 2004, conducting integrated actions aiming at improving food production and reinforcing civil society’s and local authorities’ capacities to cope with disasters.
Addressing basic food needs in the Batha and the Lake regions
In 2015, in order to enhance food security among the populations of the Sahelian belt and their resilience capacities to chocks and disasters, notably during the lean season, ACTED has implemented food and nutritional assistance projects. Those have included the distribution of food to 9,676 highly vulnerable households, and fortified flour to 3,036 children under two years old. As food insecurity and malnutrition are closely linked, ACTED has conducted large awareness campaigns in order to prevent malnutrition and bad food and hygiene practices among affected populations.
Reinforcing local populations’ resilience capacities to crisis
Over the long term, ACTED has worked to reinforce vulnerable populations’ resilience capacities. Environmental-friendly agricultural activities (rotation and association of crops, fallow, trap plants) have been proposed, as well as a support to livestock breeding (distribution of livestock, spread of fattening), and a promotion of hygiene and sanitation through quality infrastructures. These activities have contributed to reinforcing beneficiaries’ income and livelihoods. ACTED has also supported local civil society development, through the diversification of its resources and leadership capacity building.
Since 2014, the Lake Chad region has been facing major security concerns, resulting from exactions perpetrated by extremist armed groups, which lead to massive population displacements. This affected host populations’ resources and increased their need for humanitarian assistance. At the same time, insecurity undermines ACTED’s aid deployment in the area, thus contributing to worsening the humanitarian situation. In 2015, ACTED has expanded its interventions in the region, through food and nutritional assistance. ACTED has organized food fairs and set up activities including livestock breeding and market gardening in the Lake region.
An integrated approach, combining emergency and development
In 2016, ACTED intends to pursue its intervention in the Sahelian belt to address nutritional and food insecurity among the most vulnerable. Indeed the next lean period is expected to start early, and forecast indicators are alarming. ACTED will increase its presence in the Lake Chad region, in response to the increasing humanitarian needs of the Nigerian crisis-affected populations, resulting from population displacements and frequent armed attacks. Lastly, looking at development, ACTED will maintain its long-term programming, seeking to reinforce the populations’ capacities to better cope with chocks and crisis.
Involving communities for an improved environment
ACTED sets up community-based interventions to improve their direct environment, such as community-led comprehensive sanitation projects, aiming at eradicating open defecation and enhancing sanitation facilities. In 2015, ACTED has supported 70 villages, representing approximately 70,000 individuals, using this approach; combining sensitization and technical support for latrine construction. The relevance of this approach relies on behavioral change, on the level of community mobilization it generates and on the limited financial and material means it requires. A ceremony was organized in the targeted villages once the objective was achieved.