Archives pour la catégorie NUTRITION

European Union provides €7.6 million to UNICEF to respond to multiple emergencies affecting children in Chad

N’DJAMENA (Chad), 10 November 2017 – The European Union, Chad’s leading humanitarian donor, is renewing its response to the immediate needs of children and women in the country. Through its grant of €7.6 million to UNICEF, it will help improve the lives of 112,500 people, including 91,000 children under the age of five.

Thanks to this support by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations (ECHO), UNICEF will reinforce Chad’s health system to better the response to the nutritional crisis in the Sahel through the set-up of 77 new Nutrition Units (5 hospitals and 72 health centers). The grant will also enable UNICEF to improve access of children under 5 to nutrition services, including treatment for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). This will be done through the distribution and management of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), capacity building of 250 health community workers, support to national coordination mechanisms, deployment of 150 professional health workers, and the reinforcement of the nutritional surveillance system.

Health centers at district level will be reinforced with technical staff who will contribute to better monitor the implementation of activities and ensure continuity in quality service provision for children with Severe Acute Malnutrition. The project also foresees the setup of an innovative monitoring system through SMS text in phones to ensure more timely data collection and analysis.

Chad is currently facing multiple humanitarian challenges that range from population movements, such as refugees and returnees from Central African Republic, Sudan and Nigeria; to recurrent epidemics, including cholera; and the Sahelian food and nutrition crisis,” explains Philippe Barragne-Bigot, UNICEF Representative in Chad.

The Nutrition SMART Survey carried out in 2017 indicates that the prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition stands at almost 14% and Moderate Acute Malnutrition at 10%, which is a slight deterioration from 2016. “Reinforcing Chad’s health system will support a better response to the nutritional crisis in the region. EU humanitarian aid funding is, therefore, key to reinforce national capacities and provide a more coherent response in close coordination with other sectors like water, sanitation and hygiene,” adds Mr. Barragne-Bigot.

Given the complex humanitarian situation in Chad, we need to adopt an integral approach maximising the response to the various emergencies. Providing life-saving assistance to children and women, who are most at risk, is a shared responsibility. This is why the European Union is renewing its commitment to address with UNICEF the urgent needs of children suffering from malnutrition and epidemics, particularly cholera,” states Christos Stylianides, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

In addition to the nutrition component, the EU-supported intervention will contribute to the development of contingency plans at regional level that will align with the National Contingency Plan developed in 2016. Two high risk regions (Hadjer Lamis and Logone Occidental) will be supported to conduct their risk assessment, emergency preparedness and regional contingency plans based on most likely hazards (epidemics, floods), and to make these plans operational. Cholera preparedness in particular remains a high priority for the sectors.

The European Union Civil protection and Humanitarian aid Operations (ECHO) is Chad’s leading humanitarian donor and among the five most important donors of UNICEF in this country. It has committed significant financial resources for Chad (more than €60 million in 2016 and €50 million in 2017), in order to address the most immediate needs of 1 million people.

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)

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

For more information, please visit the European Commission’s website: 

To find out more about the EU-UNICEF partnership, visit

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook  

For further information, please contact:

Maria Fernandez I Chief of Communication I UNICEF Chad
+235 66 36 00 42 I I

Isabel Coello, Regional Information Officer for North, West & Central Africa, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17,



The milk of dispute

In Chad, traditional beliefs around breastfeeding are strong and inked deep

Growing up in Chad – a landlocked country of the Sahel belt –  is not easy. Malaria, Diarrhea and other diseases play a huge role in child mortality rate but so does traditional belief.

Yet, Harun Modogo is one of these local heroes that you would not expect to meet in such a challenging context. This Thursday morning, dozens of women arrived at Darasna’s health center with their children, some have walked more than 12 km to attend his session on the advantage of exclusive breastfeeding.

Harun is 42 years old and has been a committed community worker for almost 4 years. « I leave my children very early in the morning to come to work at the health center. What I do is important, I help people and I go home proud. » Harun raises awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding in his community, fighting against old habits. In Chad, only 3% of women practice exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.

« In Darasna there is no woman who is exclusively breastfeeding her child, because the first thing to do when the child is born is to wash the child and there he is given water directly. Even if the mother wanted to do exclusive breastfeeding, if she leaves her child for one minute with her relatives, they will give him water. If the child cries, people will automatically give water. In our region, it’s rare to have access to safe drinking water. This why our children get sick most of the time. »

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Haoua Mahamat, 25 years old, 3 children and her son Hassan, 14 months old

Haoua Mahamat is a young and cheerful mother who attended the meeting this morning. « With my first daughter I did exclusive breastfeeding because I was living in the capital, N’Djamena with my first husband’s family and it was them who advised me to follow this practice. Since then we got divorced and I came back to leave with my family here. I remarried and I had 2 other children for which I did not do exclusive breastfeeding. » Her son Hassan, 14 months old, was suffering from severe acute malnutrition and treated in this UNICEF-supported health center.

Haoua had to stop exclusive breastfeeding because of traditional beliefs and family pressure. « People here think that if a child gets sick it is because the breast milk is bad quality. If you see a drop of white milk at the end of the nipple, it means that the milk is good but if the drop is clear like water it means that the milk is bad. »

Halime Mahamat has a very clear idea of the advantage of maternal milk « Breast milk is the best medicine you can give to a baby; it is a blessing for both of us. Many women refuse to breastfeed their babies because they think their milk is not good. In my family, we use to pour some maternal milk in a cup and throw an ant in it. If the ant does not survive, people say that the milk is poisoned and the woman had to stop breastfeeding. For me, breastfeeding is the best way to keep my baby healthy. »

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During the early years of a child, almost 1000 brain cells connect every second – a pace never matched again. When we nourish a child’s body with the proper nutrition, we are also feeding the young brain and facilitating those neural connections.

Exclusive breastfeeding and good nutrition are vital for a baby’s health and welfare. In Chad, more than half of the country’s adults (56.4 per cent) have suffered as a result of childhood stunting. This means that more than 3.4 million people of working age are unable to reach their full potential due to childhood undernutrition.


For Every Child in need, relief

40 000 children have received treatment for malnutrition in the Sahel belt of Chad thanks to UNICEF UK support

« I did not know what to do when Amir got sick. A neighbour gave me a traditional medicine made of ash and roots, but I called my husband and he told me to go to the health centre directly. I was right to trust the doctors, he’s much better now.” Salma Safia, Amir’s mother, is 17 and lives in the remote village of Andour, in the Sahel Belt of Chad.

“His father left a few months ago. They say there is gold up north so he went there and is working in mines. Since then, life has become difficult for us. When Amir got sick we went to the health centre nearby and they took us straightaway to the hospital with an ambulance. He could not sit, eat or sleep when we arrived here. It’s been only two days, but he’s feeling much better already,  » she says, smiling.

Thanks to the support of the United Kingdom UNICEF National Committee, UNICEF has provided life-saving assistance to affected children and strengthened the capacity of health facilities to deliver quality nutrition services. The provision of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food has also contributed to reduce malnutrition-related mortality and morbidity in children under five years of age.

Refugees in the East have also been reached

For Every Child in Hunger . 40 000 children treated for malnutrition in the Sahel belt of Chad thanks to UNICEF UK support

Zouha Issa, 7, and her sister Amina, 17 months, were born from Sudanese refugees parents living in the Mile Refugee camp in Eastern Chad where 382,500 refugees are still living in harsh conditions. Recently, Zouhas’s sister, Amina, was treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition with Medical complications. She’s now feeling better and Zouha can play with her sister again.

“When Amina got sick, the doctor of the health centre called an ambulance to take us to the hospital. It was the first time I was in a car. Unfortunately, the car got stuck in the water – it was the rainy season. It took us one day to get to the hospital,” Zouha explains.

“After a few days, she started feeling better. They gave her many medicines and milk. She took some weight and she stopped crying all the time. Now we’re back home, we have breakfast together and I can play with her again,” she concludes.

Thanks to the UK National Committee contribution of US$ 135,533.63 and additional resources mobilized, UNICEF Chad has been able to provide the much needed support to the Ministry of Health to scale up the management of severe acute malnutrition. Additionally, this support made it possible to purchase and distribution of over 1,900 cartons of Ready-to-use-therapeutic food which have helped to provide timely and quality treatment to children suffering from SAM.

Over 43,557 children have been treated in the target regions of Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira and Hadjer Lamis in 2016. Furthermore, 31 health professionals were trained on management of SAM while more than 50,000 mothers and caregivers benefited from the community mobilization and sensitization campaigns.