EU donates additional € 1.5 million to UNICEF to combat child malnutrition in Chad

N´DJAMENA (Chad), 23rd October 2015 – The European Commission has allocated additional Euro 1.5 million in humanitarian aid funding to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to strengthen the response to child under-nutrition in three regions in western Chad (namely Lac, Kanem and Bar El Ghazal).

This is in response to the increase in the number of cases of children suffering from under-nutrition in these regions. The deterioration of the situation is caused by a poor rainfall during the rainy season weakening the harvest and the de facto closure of the border with Nigeria due to Boko Haram-linked violence. Both have been a heavy blow to the livelihoods in Western Chad.

“Given the impact of both the seasonal and conflict related issues, there is now a need for the humanitarian community to accelerate their response with emergency food and nutrition assistance,” stated Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “The European Commission’s generous contribution, via its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), will once again ensure that Chadian children suffering from under-nutrition can be assisted.”

“Food insecurity in Western Chad has increased at an alarming rate. The violence alongside the border between Nigeria and Chad caused new population displacements with dire humanitarian consequences,” said Olivier Brouant, Head of the ECHO Office in Chad. “The additional funding will allow UNICEF to continue to tackle the nutrition challenges, by maintaining and improving the response of interventions in the three most affected regions in this area.”

A recent survey conducted by the World Food Programme (WFP) shows alarming food insecurity and under-nutrition in the Lake Region and in bordering Kanem and Barh El Gazel. The number of food insecure people in these three regions of western Chad has increased from 339,000 to 522,000 in six months. The number of admissions to the hospitals related to the under-nutrition have increased by 23% percent in the three regions compared to the same period last year. Routinely gathered data on admissions for treatment shows that between January and August 2015 more than 35,000 severely undernourished children were admitted for treatment in the three regions. The number being much higher than expected for the period, it puts a serious strain on the capacity of the health centers to respond adequately.

With this new funding UNICEF will cover 184 health facilities and provide the treatment for almost 24,000 SAM (Severely Acutely Malnourished) children. In close coordination with governmental and non-governmental organizations, UNICEF will support existing systems to improve the quality as well as increase the accessibility of basic services.

The funding comes on top of a contribution of €4 million provided earlier this year by ECHO and UK Aid from the UK Government. Thanks to the previous contribution, UNICEF ensures the treatment of the expected SAM cases among children under-five years of age in the Sahel Regions of Chad. In addition, UNICEF will continue to improve the supply chain of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, to provide essential drugs and to build up districts’ capacities in the treatment of SAM.

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About the European Commission – Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)

The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.

The European Commission ensures rapid and effective delivery of EU relief assistance through its two main instruments: humanitarian aid and civil protection. The Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

For more information, please visit ECHO’s website.

The Commission has assisted Chad with humanitarian aid since 1994,in the aftermath of the Darfur refugee crisis. Over the past decade, the Commission has committed more than €341 million for humanitarian programmes in the country. Since 2014, it has made available more than €89.5million for multi-sectorial assistance to people affected by the crises.

About UNICEF
UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

To find out more about the EU-UNICEF partnership, visit http://www.unicef.org/eu/

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Passionate and hardworking Chadian health workers like Nutrition Counsellor Darasalam are at the frontline of saving children’s lives. Watch her story and download multimedia contents here: http://weshare.unicef.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&DNID=2AM40GXXQPXW&DM=Distribution

For further information, please contact:

Mathias Eick Global Information Officer, DG ECHO (European Commission) Nairobi, + 254-717968426, Mathias.Eick@echofield.eu , http://ec.europa.eu/echo/

Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro I Chief of Communication I UNICEF Chad
+235 66 36 00 42 I lfandriamasinoro@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad

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