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news | June 29, 2016 | Chad | Emergency

Supporting internally displaced persons and refugees in Chad

© ACTED Chad: Distribution of food supplies to 10 households in the village of Tombolloum

The current protracted crisis in the Lake Basin Chad region is characterized by a strong interconnection between food insecurity, conflict and massive displacements (WFP, Mai 2016). The onset of armed conflict and violence related to Boko Haram continue to displace people across the region within Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria and across borders. In Chad, there are currently around 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) (WFP, Mai 2016) and over 500,000 refugees (HRP, 2016), mostly coming from CAR, Nigeria and Cameroon. Refugees and displaced populations are mostly located along the borders of Chad, in the lake region and in N’Djamena.

© ACTED Chad: Distribution of food supplies in the village of Tala Kitchiri

The challenges for refugees and IDPs in the Sahel region

More specifically, the closure of Chad’s eastern border with Nigeria due to security threats has led to a drastic reduction in economic activities in the Lake region, which triggers conflicting situations between communities coming from raising market prices and additional pressures on livelihoods. In fact, in addition to desertification and erratic rainfall in the area extending the “hunger gap”, refugees and IDPs also put an additional strain on already weakens social protection systems and the few natural resources remaining for host communities. It is estimated by the WFP (2016) that today, “nearly 1 in 2 people is living in a situation of food insecurity in the Sahel region”. In addition to this concern, food insecurity is also correlated with high and raising rates of acute malnutrition among populations made increasingly vulnerable by the multiplicity of factors stated above and the resulting negative coping strategies (reduction of food consumption, health expenses or the sale of productive assets). While the Sahel region has always been confronted to a cyclicality of food crisis, displacements aggravate pre-existing vulnerabilities in the regions of concerned and required urgent and longer term interventions to be taken.

© ACTED Chad: Distribution of food supplies in the village of Lya

ACTED’s support to Chad

ACTED is located in Chad since 2004. It has built an expertise in the humanitarian and development fields through the implementation of projects related to agriculture and food security, nutrition, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), economic recovery, livelihoods and disaster risk management policy and practice. Since August last year and until May this year, ACTED supported vulnerable host households affected by the Nigerian crisis in the Lake Region through food distributions and blanket feeding for their children between 6 and 23 months old, in partnership with WFP and CIAA. Together with WFP, ACTED will also start in June to provide food and nutrition support to over 45,000 displaced people and their children. In addition, thanks to USAID/OFDA funding, REACH is increasing the timeliness of humanitarian information and coordination in the Lake Region in order to respond more effectively to the needs of displaced populations.

© ACTED Chad: Distribution of food supplies in the village of Kousserie