The support of the Swedish Development Agency is essential to provide humanitarian assistance to children living in conflict zones in Chad.
N’Djamena, February 25, 2017. “We are nomads. We were living outside Malam Fatori in Niger when our camp was attacked. 18 people got killed. The gunshots woke me up, it was early in the morning and people start running away. I took a camel and ran away watching behind. My father told me to start screaming if I saw any danger.” Tahar Mohamed, 8, is a Chadian returnee from Niger. He recalls the night he fled Boko Haram attack on his nomadic camp.
The first night I slept on a tree, I was too scared. After some days, I was too tired and hungry to walk, especially with these slippers. We could not take any food or items. My mother could only take a cooking pot with her. After three days walking, we arrived in a village and she sold it in exchange of some cooked rice. That’s the only time we had something to eat”.
Tahar Mohamed, 8 is now living in Darnaim Returnee site where he can access safe drinking water and education for the first time in his life. “I want to be a football player. I’m still young and I play very well. I want to play for Chad’s National team. The problem is that there is no football training centre in Chad,” he explains.
For Hafsa Haroun, 16, life has not been easy either. She used to live in Baga, Nigeria, before the village was torched by Boko Haram. “I had a normal life. I would go to school the morning and help out at home in the afternoon. The day of the attack, my mother got killed. I did not see it but my brother told me she got shot. My uncle was also injured. He almost lost his left leg. He suffered a lot, but he is strong,” he states, while describing what happened after the attack. “People around him cried a lot, but we were just silent. In my family everyone left separately, we were just trying to save our lives and we could not stay altogether. It took us more than a month to get back together at the camp in Chad”.
Today, Hafsa goes back to school in Daresalam refugee camp in Chad and she has great ambitions for her future. “I want to become a nurse. I’m not afraid of needles or blood. I just need some training, I don’t think it’s that complicated to find work, there will always be sick people to heal,” she says with hope.
In 2016, UNICEF worked tirelessly to provide an integrated and comprehensive response to recurrent and multiple humanitarian crises. UNICEF and its partners delivered humanitarian assistance through local authorities, communities and organizations to provide aid in hard-to-reach areas while also building local capacity to respond to emergencies.
The Swedish Development Aid Agency has supported UNICEF Chad with a US$ 652 000 000 grant (6,000,000 Swedish Krona) for Programme Support under the Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC 2016). This funding enabled our teams to assist these children and families in need in regards to Chad humanitarian response.