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Chronic poverty, years of conflict and severe climatic events, including the 2011/2012 drought in the Sahel which triggered a major food and nutrition crisis, have negatively impacted agricultural and livestock production. The influx of refugees and Chadian returnees fleeing violence in neighbouring countries, particularly the Central African Republic, has put further pressure on the fragile food security situation. FAO is working to strengthen the livelihood capacities of the most vulnerable households to ensure they are able to fulfil their basic needs.
Boosting agricultural and pastoral production
Poor rainfall distribution during the 2013 rainy season caused significant cereal deficits in the country’s Sahel region, weakening the livelihoods of the already vulnerable population. Decreased cereal and fodder production have led many families to rely on markets to access both food for themselves and feed for their livestock. Persistently high prices, however, mean that many households are unable to afford the food they need. FAO is providing the necessary seeds and tools that will help restore agricultural production throughout the country.
Pastoralists in areas with heavy fodder deficits face a higher risk of livestock starvation and death, contributing to the reduction in their production capacity, and consequently their purchasing power. To prevent these losses, FAO is providing emergency feed, vaccinating livestock and reinforcing local market access to sell animal products, so that these pastoralists do not lose their capital.
Various crises in the region have led thousands of returnees to lose their productive means and capital during displacement. Communities hosting IDPs, refugees and returnees also struggle to cope with already scarce natural resources. FAO is providing these groups with good quality seeds and tools to reinforce their production capacity and ensure they will be able to provide for themselves.
Supporting home gardening
Many households in Chad are suffering from malnutrition, which is the combined result of food unavailability, food inaccessibility resulting from chronic poverty and a limited understanding of nutrition. FAO is supporting the promotion of off-season garden agriculture to assist Sudanese refugees and other vulnerable populations in the country’s Sahel region by increasing nutritious food consumption and providing additional income. FAO also works on landscaping of home gardening perimeters to give women access to land.
Strengthening coordination and information systems
Chad has an information gap in timely food security data availability that slows down response preparation and does not allow for timely quality actions. FAO is involved in building an efficient food security information system based on national and local capacities in order to assess humanitarian needs early enough to provide relevant and efficient assistance. Strengthening food security information systems is necessary to avoid delays in the humanitarian response.
Delays in appropriate responses to crisis can also be reduced through better response coordination within the humanitarian community. FAO, which co-leads the Food Security Cluster in Chad with the World Food Programme, is working to strengthen the Cluster’s coordination mechanism while building the capacity of partners to respond to recurrent crises.