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Training women famers to gain more independence, resilience and food security

Because many women have difficulties facing the increasingly longer leaning period and have to rely on food loans, ACTED started to develop activities to strengthen women’s own living means by encouraging the creation of income generating activities. Women like Mariam are trained to turn local products into new meals such as donuts, dried meat or fruit juices to sale them on weekly local markets. ACTED also organized trainings in marketing technics and bookkeeping to enable them to be more independent and secure daily meals in the long term. Since 2014, ACTED has supported 40 women’s organizations in Oum Hadjer and Ngouri, whose approximately 800 members are vulnerable women affected by the hunger gap and food and nutritional crisis in Sahel. Mariam, a 40-year-old woman farmer, is one of them.

Learn about Mariam's story

In the Lake Chad basin, populations are trapped between climate change and insecurity

Lake Chad used to cover an area of 25,000 km2. The lake progressively dried-up and covers nowadays an area of less than 2,500 km2, which has a harsh impact on the million people whose means of livelihood largely depend its waters. According to NASA climate forecasts, Lake Chad could disappear in about twenty years from now if nothing is done to tackle climate change.

The Lake Chad Basin belongs to the regions of the world with the lowest human development index. In this context, the receding of waters already threatens peace and security, causing social tensions, land and resource-based conflicts, food insecurity and massive migrations. Since July 2015, over 71,000 people fled Nigeria and North Cameroon and settled on Lake Chad’s shores, and finally fled towards Niger since resource-based violence has increased. Over 2,5 million people are currently displaced in this part of the world. ACTED supports displaced populations in host sites in Diffa, South Niger, and organizes food distributions and access to sanitation facilities. ACTED also promotes new livelihood activities as an alternative to fisheries and pastoralism for the displaced communities.

Read more about the situation in the Lake Chad Basin and about ACTED’s response in the region.

Building resilience, a key priority in the Sahel belt of Africa

In 2014, ACTED in Chad focused its interventions on the Sahel region, particularly in Batha and Lake Chad regions. These two very vulnerable areas have high indicators of food insecurity and malnutrition. The sensitive and degraded ecosystem exposes communities to frequent shocks and food crises. In response to this situation in 2014, ACTED implemented emergency projects supporting the most vulnerable households. In parallel, ACTED tackled multi sector crises by strengthening community resilience and institutional and community-based risk management systems.

Planning and organising seasonal support to the most vulnerable populations

In a country where 2.5 million people are affected by food insecurity, cyclical crises (drought, flooding…) force the most vulnerable households to use destructive survival strategies. Irregular rainfall in 2013 coupled with crop pests led to an early lean period in 2014. To respond to these periods of stress and hardship faced by the most vulnerable households, ACTED set up activities linking food security and malnutrition prevention, through awareness raising, food access, cash and vouchers or cash for work programmes.

Strengthening community resilience to recurring crises in the Sahelian strip

With its extensive knowledge of the physical, cultural, economic and social environment of the region, in 2014 ACTED focused on increasing community resilience to recurring crises. To reduce communities’ vulnerability to future shocks, ACTED based its activities on a livelihood strengthening system with an integrated shock resilience approach. Activities included, for example, increasing agricultural productivity through better adapted seeds, the promotion of diet diversification, community infrastructure building, hygiene practice improvement and improvement of natural resources and livestock management.  

Integrated risk management approach in all activities implemented in Chad

In 2014, ACTED continued to support traditional and institutional information mechanisms, to reinforce response capacity in a crisis context. The primary objective of this activity is to ensure the sustainability of activities mentioned above. ACTED provided support to Community-Based Early Warning Systems by contributing to the development of information and communication systems as well as analysis tools. This approach is part of a national dynamic that in the long-term, will enable local communities to take over and manage food security and disaster risk related issues.

Integrating activities and linking emergency and development Integrating activities and linking emergency and development

Since July 2014, the Lake Chad area has been facing a new challenge caused by the influx of Nigerian refugees fleeing attacks by Boko Haram. In 2015, ACTED continued to develop its emergency activities to support the most vulnerable households and the displaced populations, to guarantee water and food security, especially in the Lake region. Long-term livelihood protection and resilience strengthening activities also remain a priority. Among these activities, support is provided to businesses and informal economy actors, youth vocational training, and structuring key actors such as decentralized State actors and civil society.

Partners in 2014:

Ambassade de France, Direction Générale de l'Aide Humanitaire et de la Protection Civile (ECHO), EuropeAid, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM), UNICEF.

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