A food crisis looming over the most vulnerable families
There are currently 3.6 million people suffering from a severe food and nutrition crisis in the Sahelian band. In the badly affected Batha region in Chad, some 35,000 people have been identified as food insecure, and have therefore received financial and food support to uphold their nutritional status until the next harvest.
The Sahelian band, which stretches from East to West, from the Lake Chad region to the Ouaddai, is a fragile area subjected to economic and climatic variations that vulnerable families find hard to overcome. As the main livelihood, agriculture and the sale of agricultural produce, is highly dependent on climatic conditions, which have proven particularly unstable in the last three years. Poor rainfall has resulted in a 34% drop in garden farming production since 2011. In the Sahelian band, ploughed land surface has decreased by 43% since last year’s campaign.
In the East Batha department in the heart of the Sahelian band, the recent harvest was a disaster. In most villages visited by ACTED, 85% of families had no cereal stock in March, while the lean period runs until September. To face such a concerning situation, some families have had to adopt particularly dangerous survival strategies: 62% of families declared having consumed their entire seed stock for the upcoming season.
Distributions to help the most vulnerable populations
The humanitarian community in Chad is mobilized to support populations affected by the crisis and to implement programs adapted to needs. ACTED has therefore put in place food and cash distributions for training. 5,226 rural households in 189 East Batha villages benefit from this support.
Three food and cash distributions are planned during the lean period. During the first distribution last may, 314 metric tons of food and some 108,000 Euros in cash were distributed. Through this support, each family was able to meet their food needs and maintain a decent health status. The second distribution is ongoing, and should help to meet the food needs of the most vulnerable populations for the next two months.
Millet seeds are simultaneously distributed to help reestablish the livelihoods of the affected populations. Therefore, beneficiaries will rapidly be able to resume agricultural activity and rebuild their cereal stocks. The food crisis’s long term consequences for the most vulnerable families should be considerably mitigated. This project is supported by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department and the World Food Programme.
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