Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, faces numerous challenges: food and nutrition insecurity, forced population displacement, climate change (especially drought), epidemics and chronic poverty. The security situation in neighbouring countries has led to significant movements of people to Chad. The country also has recurrent epidemics (hepatitis E, cholera) and thousands of malaria cases that have a direct impact on the morbidity and mortality of children under five.
About 4.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Chad. Four million people are affected by food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in the Sahel, a situation that worsens even more during the lean season. About 900 000 people are in need of emergency food assistance, with more than 200 300 cases of severe acute malnutrition.
Preliminary results of the national nutrition survey conducted in Chad using SMART methodology (standardised monitoring and assessment of relief and transitions), report a national rate of global acute malnutrition (GAM) of 13.9% in 2017 compared with 11.9% in 2016. In addition, severe acute malnutrition is estimated at 4.2% in 2017 compared with 2.6% in 2016. In 12 out of 23 regions, GAM exceeds the critical threshold of 15% set by the World Health Organization. For severe malnutrition, 15 regions are over the emergency threshold of 2%. Conflicts in Chad's neighbouring countries have led to an influx of 409 000 refugees and asylum-seekers; however, as Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world, its capacity to care for these vulnerable groups is extremely limited.
The European Commission is one of the main donors present in Chad. Since 2013, the Commission has granted an estimated €255 million to support vulnerable populations facing various humanitarian crises. In 2017, the Commission financed humanitarian programmes implemented by its partners totalling €53 million.
The Commission's humanitarian aid focuses mainly on food assistance, the management of severe acute malnutrition, assistance to displaced persons and refugees in Chad and the fight against epidemics such as cholera and hepatitis E.
The Commission supports voucher or cash-based food aid projects that have helped 750 000 people acquire basic food items. Medical and nutritional care projects to treat severe acute malnutrition in health centres have also received support from the European Commission.
In areas where internally displaced people are highly concentrated, the Commission supports access to primary and secondary health care. The Commission also funds emergency education for the internally displaced, and protection for people fleeing from Boko Haram violence near Lake Chad..
The Commission and its partners have set up agricultural activities for refugee populations in east and southern Chad to build self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Other programmes put in place by partners support the socio-economic reintegration of Chadian returnees and Central African and Sudanese refugees.
In August 2017, a cholera epidemic broke out in the Sila region. It had a mortality rate of 12%. The epidemic then spread to the neighbouring region of Salamat, where access to drinking water for the affected populations remains the most important challenge. In order to help the most affected families, the European Commission has provided €536 000 in humanitarian funds to provide drinking water, hygiene and sanitation, as well as awareness-raising activities to prevent the spread of disease.