EU donates additional €4 million to UNICEF to combat child malnutrition in Chad

N´DJAMENA (Chad), 15 December 2016 – The European Union’s humanitarian department is strengthening UNICEF’s response to the nutrition crisis in the Sahel belt in Chad with an additional funding of Euro 4 million. This new grant will support the scale-up of Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) for 40,000 children in 632 health facilities, and ensure that additional 350 health staff have the capacity to provide quality malnutrition treatment by the end of May 2017.

“Acute malnutrition is hampering the life of thousands of children in Chad. Developing integrated approaches to address it is a proven and high impact lifesaving intervention that UNICEF will continue to support,” stated Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Chad. “We are grateful to the EU for its continued support to scale up such interventions in Chad, especially in the Sahel Belt.”

For years, Chad Sahel belt has been dealing with pervasive food and nutrition insecurity. It is estimated that over 4.3 million people in Chad are now food insecure. In addition, many of the neighboring countries – especially Nigeria, Central African Republic and Sudan- are facing political and security turbulences that lead to population movements which place an enormous burden on the already overstretched health system.

Recent surveys have revealed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 11.7% with huge variations between regions. It is estimated that over six regions are above the emergency threshold of 15%. As a consequence, 558,000 children are estimated to be currently undernourished of which over 228,000 suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). Besides, chronic malnutrition is a public health problem and affects thousands of children across the country.

In partnership with different stakeholders, including the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid office (ECHO), UNICEF aims to reach at least 200,000 cases of severe malnutrition to reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from recurring humanitarian crises in Chad.

« The European Union is renewing its commitment to address the urgent needs of malnourished children” said Olivier Brouant, Head of the European Commission’s humanitarian aid office in Chad. “Multiple crisis are impacting Chad, and children are the most affected. We are stepping up to help UNICEF provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable, to reinforce national capacities to provide quality malnutrition services, and to build the resilience of the affected communities.” The European Union is UNICEF Chad’s leading humanitarian donor and among the five most important donors of UNICEF in Chad.

In close coordination with governmental and non-governmental organizations, the project aims to implement and scale-up Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) in 50 new therapeutic feeding centres. This will increase the coverage to a total 632 health facilities and ensure that these centres have the capacity to provide quality treatment of severe undernutrition.

The project will target 40,000 severely malnourished children in 15 priority regions, including refugee, returnee and sites for Internally Displaced Persons across the country. The provision of improved quality SAM services, stock management, reporting and information management will be reinforced through training and equipment of 350 health staff.

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Haoua Yunus and her daughter are nomads. Thanks to the EU support they have beneffited from improved SAM services.

About EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

The European Union together with its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Every year, the European Commission, through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department, helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters. Assistance to the most vulnerable is provided solely on the basis of humanitarian needs.

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.

For more information, please visit the European Commission’s humanitarian office website: http://ec.europa.eu/echo

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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A major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin, an area that comprises parts of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, where violence and destruction have led to a dramatic increase in malnutrition. Local communities are doing what they can to help those in need. Download multimedia contents here: http://weshare.unicef.org/Folder/2AMZIFWEC7O

For further information, please contact:

Maria Fernandez I Chief of Communication I UNICEF Chad
+235 66 36 00 42 I mfernandez@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad

Isabel Coello, Regional Information Officer for North, West & Central Africa, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Dakar, Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17, Isabel.Coello@echofield.eu

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