Chad is distinguished by a very low Human Development Index (HDI) (the 184th country out of 187 in 2014), bad distribution of wealth, a low level of education and endemic illiteracy. As far as health is concerned, the country can only offer a scarce and very mediocre health service : the ratio of doctors to the population falls dramatically below international standards, with only 4 doctors to 100 000 inhabitants.
Chad has a number of factors that bring about malnutrition, such as poor agricultural production, limited access to water and mediocre healthcare. It has an alarming rate of malnutrition : in November 2015, 365 400 children had malnutrition, of which 76 000 had severe acute malnutrition.
On the other hand, with 380 000 refugees identified in October 2015, Chad is one of the countries in Africa which takes in the most refugees. The region of Ouaddai alone, where Première Urgence Internationale is working, accommodates nearly 112 000.
Description of the mission
In Chad, Première Urgence Internationale has started to work with Sudanese refugees who fled from the Darfur crisis, as well as the population of Chad to the south of Ouaddai. From 2005 onwards, our teams started working in camps in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), leading projects defined by issues of food security, environmental management, economic revival and livestock health. In 2006, our teams supported displaced populations living in camps to strengthen their food security and improve their access to clean water. In parallel, projects have been implemented to help host communities, targeting the areas of education, protection, access to drinking water and food security.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
Chad is one of the countries where Première Urgence Internationale’s work has the most successful comprehensive approach. Faced with an identified priority – malnutrition – our teams are implementing solutions and bringing them to completion, targeting food insecurity, health, and also hygiene practices. One main project aims to improve food security in the area and capacity development for rapid response in the event of a crisis. Première Urgence Internationale is one of the key organisations monitoring food and nutritional security in the region.
The NGO is also working in the field of health, through management of malnutrition and supporting 32 organisations : it covers the running costs of health centres, supplies them with equipment and the medical products necessary for effective operation, and rehabilitates them if needed.
Lastly, aftercare is provided to ensure that recovering children stay in good health and do not become malnourished again. Coupons and nutritional supplements are distributed to parents of malnourished children that have been treated in centres supported by our teams. Action to raise awareness of good nutritional eating habits, cooking demonstrations, as well as screening of malnourished children under five and pregnant and breastfeeeding women, and referral to nutrition centres, have all been implemented.