Chad

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Renewed violence disrupts livelihoods and takes a heavy toll on local communities in the Lac province
  • According to results of the "Cadre Harmonisé" (Harmonized Framework), close to 3.9 million people will suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition from June to August 2019
  • The measles epidemic in Chad, declared on 30 May 2018, continues to spread
  • To better understand and assist people in need of international protection, UNHCR, Chad's government and the Chadian Red Cross have set up a project to monitor mixed migrations
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Chad

Situation Report

Key Figures

4.3M
People in Need
2M
People Targeted
3.9M
Food insecure people
350K
SAM affected children

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Chad

Situation Report

Funding

$476.6M
Required
$271.8M
Received
57%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Naomi Frérotte

Public Information Officer

Augustin Zusanné

Head of Office

Emmanuelle Schneider

Desk Officer

Chad

Situation Report
Analysis
Displaced people in Yakou
Credit: OCHA/A. Zusanne. 20 December 2018, Yakou, Lac Province. Displaced people (mostly women and children) awaiting NFI distribution.

Increasing insecurity and displacement in the Lac province

The latest upsurge in armed attacks and insecurity across the Lake Chad Basin has driven thousands of civilians to seek refuge in Chad’s western Lac province where renewed violence also disrupted livelihoods and took a heavy toll on local communities, particularly around Ngouboua and Tchoukoutalia. Since the beginning of the year, over 23,000 people have reportedly been displaced in the province - including the arrival of refugees from Nigeria, returnees from Niger and the new displacement of previously displaced communities seeking security and assistance.

18 people killed and over 50 abducted including women

Since the beginning of the joint military operations in Nigeria, alleged armed group incursions are recurrent in Chad, where several attacks attributed to non-state armed groups have resulted in cases of kidnappings, killings and thefts. On 22 May, a series of attacks by armed men were reported, north-west of Diamerom and close to Tchoukoutalia, killing five people and leading to the abduction of over fifty people, including women. On 16 May, an armed group also attacked the village of Selia, located about 30km south-west of Bol, killing 13 people and burning several houses, making it the largest attack on civilians in 2019. These attacks and incursions have led to an increased sense of insecurity among the general population. Since March, the prevailing insecurity in the province has also led to temporary aid delivery suspensions and movement restrictions by several humanitarian organizations in areas around Kaiga Kindjiria, Diamerom, and Boma – affecting over 10,000 registered beneficiaries.

On 16 May, a multi-sector assessment mission, which had planned to deploy to Kaya, Yakoua and Koudouboul to evaluate the needs of newly displaced communities, was cancelled in extremis by local authorities. It is estimated that around 2,000 people had fled Fitiné Island after an attack on 4-5 May and found refuge in these three sites, located around 12km south of Bol. According to local authorities, these newly displaced people must return home as soon as possible because measures are being taken to strengthen security around Fitiné and to protect populations. However, for displaced communities to return home voluntarily in safety and dignity, they require accurate and objective information on which to base their decisions. The authorities have a responsibility to ensure this is available as part of their responsibility to establish the conditions and provide the means for safe and voluntary return. Concerns remain regarding the security situation in island areas, as the context continues to be volatile and precarious. According to teams that had visited Kaya and Yakoua sites on 8 and 11 May, a rapid response is necessary considering several risks faced by the displaced: children are currently out of school, people are consuming water from the lake thus facing with the risk of waterborne diseases, and their food access is scarce given they are currently being hosted by other formerly displaced communities. Thus, the distribution of water purifiers and hygiene kits, scheduled for 16 May (UNICEF via the NGO Action Contre la Faim) on the three sites will no longer take place. The multisector assessment mission team was composed of national and international NGOs, representatives of government technical services and leads from six sub-clusters (Health-nutrition, education, protection, food security, WASH and CCCM/Shelter-NFI).

Over 14,300 people displaced including 4,000 refugees since January

A series of populations movements have been reported in the past months, including around 700 people who have been registered in early March near Baga Sola, most of them women and children who fled other displacement sites. Another 300 people arrived in Kegua in March, having reportedly come from Niger. Already in January, 4,000 people arrived in Diamerom and claimed to have fled from Niger, while authorities have yet to clarify their status. An attack in Bourboura in February also led to 1,300 people fleeing the Bol islands and finding refuge in Baboul2. Following attacks on Baga Kawa in Nigeria, 4,048 people crossed into Ngouboua and were registered in Dar es Salam refugee camp in early January. Upon their arrival, WFP distributed high-energy biscuits and provided them with food vouchers. They have since benefitted from UNHCR's multi-sector assistance. Aid agencies have used much of Chad’s limited contingency stock to respond to the needs of newly-displaced people.

The forthcoming June to August lean season requires anticipating and extending support to displaced populations as well as their host communities in the Lac province, where 130,472 displaced people and 15,456 refugees rely on humanitarian assistance to survive and risk facing worsening levels of food insecurity. Closed borders with Nigeria and Niger as well as ongoing insecurity continue to limit access to food markets and trade for populations in the Lac province, despite the reduction of market prices throughout the country.  

Of the US $476 million required for the whole country US $140 million are needed to respond to the most urgent needs of 330,000 people in the Lac region, including 130,000 IDPs, host communities, returnees, and refugees whose population stands at around 15,000.

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Chad

Situation Report
Background
IDP women watering vegetables they produce
Credit: 27 February 2018, Brim, Lac region, Chad: Internally displaced women are watering vegetables produced jointly by Chadian internally displaced persons and members of the community hosting them in the village of Brim.

Close to 3.9 million people expected to be food insecure in Chad during the next lean season

The official report from the Harmonized Framework (“Cadre Harmonisé”) highlights that despite good harvests during the 2018/2019 agricultural season (cereal production has increased by 11,2% compared to last year and by 12,6% compared to the last five-year average), close to 3.4 million people will suffer from food insecurity and malnutrition during the next lean season (June-August 2019), including 640,874 suffering from severe food insecurity (in crisis and emergency phases). An additional 459,242 refugees and 81,300 Chadian returnees must also be taken into account, bringing the total up to close to 4 million people facing food insecurity. 

The southern provinces, however, saw a 4 % decrease in their cereal production compared to last year (5% decrease compared to five-year average) – in particular rice production. According to the food security cluster it is important to anticipate and extend support to areas that are currently in phases 3 to 5 and those that will be in these phases during the lean season. Food assistance is also recommended for all affected persons during the lean season and malnutrition interventions must continue. In particular, the report indicates that the prevalence of MAG has reached 17,8% in Borkou province, and 11,6% in Kanem, both above the WHO 10% alert threshold.

Seven provinces are also expected to face high malnutrition rates during the upcoming lean season, especially in the Sahel and Sahara belts. Given the availability of food on the markets, with the exception of the northern part of the country – where the closure of the border with Libya has decreased food availability and led to increased prices -, the cluster recommends using a cash-based transfer approach to support livelihoods and communities.

(Sources: Official Harmonized Framework report from March 2019, Food Security Cluster)

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Chad

Situation Report
Background

Clashes over access to resources across Chad

Nearly 50 people killed in Eastern Chad

On 19 May, an inter-communal conflict, between Arab herders and local farmers, was reported near the village of Abdi, in Sila province, claiming the lives of 31 people. According to local sources several houses were burnt down and the situation in Abdi area remains tense, with sporadic clashes reported in Biyere, a village 38 km away from Abdi. The Governor of Sila and various administrative and security authorities deployed to the area. Following the attacks, an indeterminate number of people were arrested, and several weapons were seized.

The clashes reportedly erupted after local farmers refused to let herders use their pastures, leading to the herders setting fire to local crops. On 16 May, the same situation led to the conflict in Marfa, Ouaddai province, which resulted in 12 people being shot dead and several wounded. A large number of assailants and accomplices have allegedly been arrested and the situation in Marfa is reportedly under control. The Minister of Territorial Administration warned the provincial, traditional and customary authorities of the risks related to the “dia” and formally prohibited its practice. The “dia” is a customary religious practice that allows communities to settle disputes that have resulted in deaths by paying a large sum of money or livestock to the victim community sometimes without any other form of criminal prosecution. These settlements sometimes lead to revenge and further conflict.

Eastern Chad is facing a resurgence of deadly communal conflicts between nomadic Arab herders and local farmers. Land use rights and access to water are the leading causes of these inter-communal clashes, especially during the arid and dry season, where water sources and pastures become very scarce. Farmers who do not allow cattle to graze in these areas are attacked by herders who destroy their fields and huts. Drought and desertification degrade pastures, drying up many natural water sources and forcing large numbers of herders to migrate southward in search of grassland and water for their herds. These conflicts quickly escalate and aggravate relations among communities and clans. For the time being, no transborder tensions are perceptible. However, because of the unpredictability of the situation in Sudan and Libya, close monitoring is necessary.

Four people killed in the South

Southern Chad is also experiencing a surge in inter-communal conflicts between farmers and herders. On 21 May, following the devastation of a peanut field at Nala village, located 25 km outside of Doba, a conflict between farmers and breeders resulted in three people killed. The same day, a person was killed in Donia (60 km from Gore) as a result of another fight between farmers and breeders. The authors were arrested. Across southern Chad in 2017, 12 conflicts were reported resulting in four deaths and nine injuries, while in 2018, 17 conflicts were reported leading to 12 deaths and more than 18 people injured and several hectares of plantations destroyed and animals killed. By the end of April 2019, four incidents have been recorded, resulting in five deaths and six injuries.

A person killed in the Lac province

An inter-communal conflict over access to resources caused one death in the village of Walawa, located about 25 km south of Bol in January. Two communities have been fighting over the use of a polder for several years, a traditional dam constructed across a narrow inlet formed by the shoreline – allowing for agricultural production and access to water. Due to the lingering inter-communal conflict, authorities had consequently suspended the right to use this polder, including grazing animals. On 22 January, tensions arose and clashes with security forces ensued when one community brought their cattle into the polder. Conflicts over the use of land and resources are recurrent in the Lac province, sometimes leading to losses in human life. In 2018, a total of eight deaths and 137 injuries were reported. It is estimated that over 30 polders are currently held by the judicial authorities to avoid clashes. These access restrictions to high-yielding cropland has negative impacts on food security and livelihoods. Polders are often used by lake communities to produce corn, rice and cowpea, as well as provide water and grazing land for cattle.

In the midst of the Sahel belt, Lake Chad is a vital water resource for fishermen, herdsmen and farmers. It used to be one of the biggest lakes in the world, but its volume has been reduced to a tenth of what it was in the 1960s. The water levels of the lake have always fluctuated, as previous studies have shown. As a result, the shoreline people have developed a significant capacity to adapt, alternating between fishing, and raising various crops through the use of sophisticated irrigation techniques. The closure of borders and movement restrictions undermine agriculture, livestock and fishing activities, and limit trade between Chad and neighboring countries. Access to polders is therefore one of the only sustainable means by which shoreline communities are able to grow food and maintain their livelihoods.

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Chad

Situation Report
Trends
Trends in measles cases
Trends in measles cases

Downward trend in measles cases in May

According to the Comité Technique National de Lutte contre les Epidémies (National Technical Committee for Epidemic Control, CTNLE), the number of measles cases had been in a constant rise in Chad since the beginning of the year. With over 1,000 cases in January and nearly 3,000 in February, the situation continued to worsen in March (4,994 cases) to reach the peak of 5,197 in April before curbing to around 3,000 in May (though the month is not over yet). This downward trend can be explained by the beginning of the rainy season (during which the measles virus cannot propagate) in some provinces of the country. As of 20 May, a total of over 17,000 cases with 163 deaths have been recorded.

N’Djamena, Chari Baguirmi and Logone Oriental are among the most affected, with XXX cases and XXX deaths. According to government data, in 2018, the measles epidemic reached a total number of 5,336 cases and caused 96 deaths. As a reminder, Chad has been in a measles epidemic since May 2018. As part of the response coordination, a Measles Task Force has been set up by the Government via the Ministry of public health. The Task Force recommended a nationwide vaccination campaign targeting over 6 million children aged between 6 months and 9 years old. This campaign will cost US$ 9.3 million.

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can lead to serious complications and remains a leading cause of death in children. Reactive vaccination campaigns that have been ongoing since the beginning of the epidemic, in May 2018, are continuing in the affected areas. Also noteworthy is the atypical nature of this epidemic, which has been affecting people beyond the 0-9 years old age range. Health authorities are also concerned with the under-reporting of measles cases in N’Djamena. Lack of access to healthcare is one of the main challenges in Chad.

The fact that free patient care in health centres are not assisted by humanitarian partners remains a major concern for the Ministry of Health, which has recommended mapping the areas covered by the partners to better identify and address this gap.

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Chad

Situation Report
Trends
Mix migration survey
Migrants surveyed by country of origin

Mixed migrations in Chad

UNHCR, and the Chadian government, in partnership with the Chadian Red Cross, have set up a project to monitor mixed migrations (when refugees and migrants travel along similar roads) in order to better understand and assist people in need of international protection. 198 relays were set up in strategic places in Chad and surveyed a total of 19,569 people (81% men, 17% women, 2% children, 1% elderly) in 2018. Most people surveyed are originally from Chad (47%), followed by people from the Central African Republic (18%), and people from Sudan (11%). A smaller caseload came from Cameroon (9%), Nigeria (8%), Niger (5%) and Mali (1%).  36% of those interviewed intend to reach Libya, while 25% others stated they will stay in Chad and 13% hope to reach Europe.

Among all persons surveyed, 18% are asylum seekers, 5% are refugees and another 8% intend on asking for asylum. The majority, however, are Chadians or third country nationals who do not have refugee or asylum seeker status (69%). Among those who were identified as potentially needing international protection, 48% say they fled for political reasons, 6% for environmental reasons and 2% due to conflict. Nine people were voluntarily repatriated to Ethiopia and 24 cases were referred to IOM. Seven Sudanese refugees who had been located in Niger received assistance to return to Chad, their first asylum country, where they were readmitted as refugees and received a reinsertion kit and will benefit from a livelihoods support program. Another 11 Sudanese refugees who had traveled to Niger, Tunisia and Libya will also receive assistance and be readmitted as refugees in Chad and will benefit from the same readmission package. (Source: UNHCR)

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Chad

Situation Report
Trends

Voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees and return of Chadian refugees from Sudan

Since April 2018, nearly 4,000 Sudanese refugees in Eastern Chad have voluntarily returned to their country of origin. As of 23 April 2019, a total of 3,824 refugees have been repatriated half of whom were born in Chad. These refugees are part of some 20,000 refugees who accepted to return to their country of origin. The UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Commission Nationale d’Accueil et de Réinsertion des Réfugiés et des Rapatriés (the National refugee Commission, CNARR) are facilitating voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Chad to Sudan since April 2018. The governments of Chad, Sudan and the UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement in May 2017 to allow the voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees living in Eastern Chad. Chad hosts over 342,000 Sudanese refugees representing nearly 74 percent of the total refugee population in Chad. 

At the same time, the voluntary repatriation of Chadian refugees from Darfur, Sudan, continued. As of 30 April 2019, a cumulative number of 5,093 Chadian refugees were reintegrated in the Sila region according to UNHCR. Chadian refugees in Sudan are estimated at about 40,000 individuals according to UNHCR Sudan.

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Chad

Situation Report
Feature
Zobo seedling site, Batha province
Credit: OCHA/I. Moussa Saleh. Zobo, Batha Province. Preparation of seedlings for the creation of a community forest and the development of public service spaces.

The resilience of Sahel belt communities rests on self-sufficiency

Across the Sahel region, the most vulnerable communities face significant challenges during the lean season. To help communities gain in autonomy while reducing dependence on humanitarian aid, particularly food assistance, the World Food Programme (WFP) launched an integrated convergence programme in October 2018 in Chad's central and eastern provinces.

This programme has three components including resilience, nutrition and education, with an emphasis on school feeding. The activities are carried out on three sites: Chawir (Guéra province) Zobo and Brégué-Birguite (Batha) benefiting ten villages. WFP is implementing this programme with its local partners, the Evangelical Community-based Development Project (ECDP) in Batha province and Moustagbal in Guéra province. On 17 March 2019, after nearly six months of implementation, WFP, accompanied by OCHA, went to see the progress of the activities.

Building household resilience and keeping children in schools

In Chawir, in the Guéra province, a gardening project is being implemented by the national NGO Moustagbal. Four hectares of land have been made available for market gardening and millet production. On site, 246 households work and are paid through a food assistance programme for asset creation. The products are consumed by households and students benefiting from school canteens, while guaranteeing their access to schooling. As soon as market gardening activities end at the onset of the rainy season, the space is used for the school crops. This year, the latter produced about 7,800 kg of cereals (78 bags). Chawir also benefits from a community forest project. As in Zobo, 400,000 trees of have been planted.

Another resilience project in Brégué-Birguite supported 157 farmers in 2018. Thanks to WFP, they were able to use a 250-hectare plot of land for the production of 173.35 tonnes of beré-béré, a variety of sorghum. This operation is based on a water retention system through the construction of dams and half-moons. Based on its success, an additional 873 hectares will be harvested this year during the rainy season. Dams are being built and three weirs to prevent water loss.

Countering deforestation, malnutrition and unemployment

The Zobo site focuses on the fight against deforestation in Batha province. Out of 400,000 expected seedlings, 129,000 have already germinated thanks to the provision of an 18 m3 water network.  These seedlings will be ready in July during the rainy season, and will eventually be used to create a community forest and develop public service spaces such as the town hall, sanitary facilities and schools. These are not ordinary plants but a species of plants with multiple functions. They have nutritional and soil protection values and can contribute to improving food security. In addition, the project creates jobs for 200 people, including 157 women. Finally, three out of five school gardens have already been created for the production of cereals and market produce in the area.

Employment opportunities for men and prevention of an exodus

Before this project, men left the villages in search for work, leaving women with dependent children behind. For women, these resilience projects have not only encouraged men to stay home but also resulted in small savings for their households. These resources will enable them to establish small businesses. Men now feel that they can assume their responsibilities as heads of households and attempts to migrate to the north of the country to work in gold mining sites are reduced. Thanks to the project, they can ensure the health care of their families and their children’s access to school.

A community learning process

Participation is an essential element for ownership and continuity of these projects. In Zobo, two villages have provided 9,749 m2 of land for the project. In Brégué-Birguite too, the 873 hectares come from the community. Residents collaborate and feel involved in the development of their communities.

The two sites also offer training in techniques related to tree planting, compost production, water retention and the use of organic pots to protect the environment. This community learning is essential for the sustainability of projects. At the Chawir School Garden in the Guéra, students and parents practice and learn to garden and grow off-season cereals.   "It takes at least three years to complete and depends on predictable resources to avoid wasting what has been achieved," said Alemu Mekonnen Gebre, WFP's Resilience Programme Manager. In a context where the eastern provinces of Chad are facing a protracted crisis, resilience programmes represent one of the best approaches to help people escape humanitarian dependency.

For more sustained resilience

During the focus group discussions organized by OCHA, the communities of Zobo and Bregué-Birguite expressed their needs. For men, support is needed for the acquisition of small ruminants. Women, for their part, are calling for the building of halls to store their products for sale, as well as mills and financial support to develop their small businesses and handicrafts (weaving). However, other initiatives should be put in place to fill the gaps in the project, particularly in terms of support (e.g. teaching them how to save and store their products). This will allow the populations to really take charge of themselves at the end of the project.

WFP identified 240 villages with the potential to integrate food security, nutrition and education activities, with the aim of strengthening the resilience of 188,336 people. This will help reduce their dependence on emergency food assistance when the lean season strikes again.

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