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The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: Chad

The FAO Component of the Consolidated Appeals 2012: Chad
Dec 2011

People in Chad face deepening levels of poverty and struggle to recover from years of conflict and recurrent natural disasters.

Conflicts within and outside of Chad’s borders have led to a severe displacement crisis. The country is currently hosting 250 000 refugees from Sudan and 75 000 from the Central African Republic. Although many IDPs have managed to return home, around 130 000 people remain internally displaced. A further 90 000 Chadians have recently returned, fleeing violence in Libya. 

The majority of these conflict-affected people lack basic social services and protection. Furthermore, drought, floods and plant pests regularly affect already vulnerable households whose livelihoods are based mainly on agriculture and livestock production.

Challenges facing food security and livelihoods

Food deficits and high food prices are projected for 2012. Most households in Chad rely on crop and livestock production to ensure their food security. Erratic and insufficient rains in 2011 resulted in poor cereal and fodder production. During the 2011 rainy season, the total cultivated area dropped by about one-third, leaving many families dependent on markets for food.

Reduced production and income, combined with rising staple food (cereal) costs, are making it increasingly difficult for families to meet their most basic needs. Moreover, because of fodder deficits, pastoralist households face a high risk of further animal deaths and a depreciation in livestock value. This results in distress sales of animals, further depleting household assets and purchasing power.

Dietary diversity has decreased – diets consist mainly of cereals, with little consumption of fruits and vegetables. Children often lack the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow, which leads to high malnutrition rates in many regions of the Chad Sahelian zone. Risk of famine in 2012 is a major concern, which would impact 1.6 million people, mainly in the Sahelian belt, according to initial estimates.

Food insecurity is widespread among people affected by displacement: 69 percent of refugees, 47 percent of IDPs, 25 percent of returnees and 30 percent of host families. More than 55 000 displaced people are expected to return to their homes in 2012. They lack the livelihood assets necessary to resume agricultural activities and begin the recovery process.

Currently, the Government does not have an adequate food security information system to assess, respond to and monitor needs. Critical information gaps exist in terms of gender-disaggregated data, identifying the most vulnerable populations and early warning systems.

FAO response

With donor support, FAO aims to strengthen the food security and livelihoods of vulnerable farmers and pastoralists. FAO will support vegetable and cereal cultivation to increase food production through improved access to quality seeds and tools, mainly for returnees during the rainy season.

Training on nutrition will reduce malnutrition rates by enabling families to improve the quality and diversity of their diets. Farming support will also include seeds and tools for vegetable gardening. Livestock production will be protected and improved through the distribution of healthy and productive animals, animal feed and animal health services.

All of FAO’s activities are designed to contribute significantly to gender equality. Coordination and capacity-building activities of the Food Security Cluster will focus on collecting and using gender-disaggregated data and improving the early warning data collection system.