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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: http://ec.europa.eu/echo. 

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

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 mfernandez@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad

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, Isabel.Coello@echofield.eu

 

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Superwoman Darasalam at the heart of fighting malnutrition in Chad

By Badre Bahaji

The sharp shriek of a rooster at the break of dawn is the abrupt alarm clock that starts what is a very busy day for supermom, 28-year-old Darasalam. She gently wakes up her six daughters, quickly prepares breakfast, gets the children ready for school and herself ready for work – all before 7am.


As she inserts the key into the ignition of her scooter, her already packed morning shifts the day into another gear as she sets off to the Therapeutic Feeding Centre at the Liberté hospital where she works as a Nutrition Counselor. The UNICEF-supported center is run by the NGO Alima with financial support from the ECHO, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department.

A fighting spirit

Like many young girls in Chad, Darasalam was married very early – before she was 18 years old. But that didn’t keep her from pursuing her dream of a career in the medical field. « At first, my husband did not want me to study. But with time he saw how sick I was getting just by being at home and eventually, he was convinced and I studied to become a Medical Assistant.” Balancing a career and a family is not easy though and she admits that she has little free time with her children but she says, “ They understand that I love what I do ». The passion for her work and love for children is what motivates her each day in what is a demanding job at the Feeding Centre that treats some 300 children with severe acute malnutrition each month.

Chad has the third highest child mortality rate in the world, with one out of every six children dying before their fifth birthday. Malnutrition is among the leading causes of child mortality in Chad.

In late December 2011, the Government of Chad officially declared a nutrition crisis in the Sahel belt and appealed to the international humanitarian community for support to avert a famine. In response, UNICEF together with the government of Chad and with the financial backing of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), rolled out a rapid expansion of therapeutic feeding centres as well as other community led interventions to target malnutrition. In just four years, the number of feeding centres doubled to the current 500 centres now in operation across the country treating close to 150 000 children every year since.

Darasalam 2A juggling act

Nutrition counselors such as Darasalam are critical to tackling malnutrition. Each day, she swiftly moves among the rows of young patients making sure the children are eating correctly and advising the mothers on how to prevent malnutrition by preparing nutritious food at home and knowing what action to take if the situation worsens. Changing mindsets among mothers about how to treat malnutrition is one of the biggest challenges she faces. « The problem is that too many children arrive here after being treated by quacks and marabouts (religious practitioners). Some women even come to the health center with weird mixtures those people gave them. Some children arrive between life and death. I ask mothers to leave these things and let us work if they do not want to lose their child, » she explains.

Laugher is the best medicine

A permanent smile and a deep devotion to children: this is Darasalam’s simple recipe to warm the hearts of worried mothers and sick children. Through collective counseling she sets the mothers minds at ease and follows through with each child during their stay in the centre, which is usually a couple of days. Often this means she has to harness her skills as an actress in addition to her technical skills as a counselor. « I try to make them laugh, make them react. To do my job, you need to have a fighting spirit and the talent of an actress » she says, laughing.

More than 144,000 children now have access to the services and treatment at Therapeutic Feeding Centres. But as a Sahel country, Chad remains chronically food-insecure, with child malnutrition a major threat to the survival and development of children. Like other health workers, Darasalam is acutely aware of the challenges that lie ahead in the fight against malnutrition but this does not deter her in the least, “I have six children at home, but here we are trying to save the lives of thousands of children. I can’t work miracles, I just try to give them hope. »

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:

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L’Union européenne alloue 1.5 million € additionnel à l’UNICEF pour la lutte contre la malnutrition des enfants au Tchad

N’Djaména (Tchad), 23 octobre 2015. La Commission européenne a alloué 1,5 millions d’euros supplémentaires à l’UNICEF pour renforcer la réponse à la malnutrition infantile dans trois régions de l’ouest du Tchad, à savoir le Lac, le Kanem et le Bahr el Ghazal.

Cette aide supplémentaire survient suite à l’augmentation du nombre de cas d’enfants souffrant de malnutrition dans ces régions. La détérioration de la situation est causée par une mauvaise pluviométrie lors de la saison des pluies, de mauvaises récoltes et par la fermeture de facto de la frontière avec le Nigéria en raison de la violence liée au conflit avec Boko Haram. Ces différents aspects ont porté un véritable coup dur aux populations de l’ouest du Tchad.

« Compte tenu de l’impact du conflit en cours et des perturbations saisonnières, il est désormais indispensable que la communauté humanitaire accélère sa réponse nutritionnelle d’urgence. La généreuse contribution de la Commission européenne, par l’intermédiaire de son département pour l’aide humanitaire et la protection civile (ECHO), permettra une fois de plus d’assister les enfants tchadiens qui souffrent de la malnutrition, » a déclaré Philippe Barragne-Bigot, Représentant de l’UNICEF au Tchad.

« L’insécurité alimentaire dans l’ouest du Tchad a augmenté à un rythme alarmant. La violence le long de la frontière entre le Nigéria et le Tchad a provoqué de nouveaux déplacements de populations avec des conséquences humanitaires désastreuses, » a déclaré Olivier Brouant, Chef de Mission d’ECHO au Tchad. « Ce fonds supplémentaire permettra à l’UNICEF de continuer à relever les défis de la situation nutritionnelle, en maintenant et en améliorant le niveau d‘intervention dans les trois régions les plus touchées. »

Une récente enquête menée par le Programme Alimentaire Mondial (PAM) montre que l’insécurité alimentaire et la malnutrition ont atteint des taux alarmants dans la région du Lac et dans les régions voisines du Kanem et du Barh El Gazal. Le nombre de personnes en insécurité alimentaire dans ces trois régions a considérablement augmenté, passant de 339 000 à 522 000 en six mois. Le nombre d’admissions dans les hôpitaux pour la malnutrition a augmenté de 23 pour cent dans les trois régions par rapport à la même période l’an dernier. Les données recueillies montre qu’entre janvier et aout 2015, plus de 35.000 enfants sévèrement malnutris ont été admis pour traitement dans les trois régions. Le nombre étant beaucoup plus élevé que prévu, cette situation met à rude épreuve la capacité des centres de santé à répondre de manière adéquate.

Grâce à ce nouveau financement, l’UNICEF couvrira 184 établissements de santé et pourra soigner environ 24.000 enfants souffrant de Malnutrition Aigüe Sévère (MAS). En étroite coordination avec les organisations gouvernementales et non gouvernementales, l’UNICEF appuiera les systèmes existants pour améliorer la qualité et accroître l’accessibilité aux services sociaux de base.

Le financement s’ajoute à une contribution de 4 millions d’euros prévue plus tôt cette année par ECHO et UKAid, l’agence de développement international du Royaume-Uni. Grâce à la précédente contribution, l’UNICEF assure déjà le traitement des cas de MAS attendus chez les enfants de moins de cinq ans dans les régions de la bande sahélienne du Tchad. L’UNICEF assure aussi la provision d’équipements, de suppléments alimentaires, de médicaments essentiels et soutient la formation des personnels soignants au niveau local, en appui aux efforts du gouvernement du Tchad.

Centre de nutrition Koubicou, Goz Be•da, Tchad.
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A propos du service d’aide humanitaire et de protection civile de la Commission européenne (ECHO)

L’Union européenne et ses États membres sont les premiers donateurs mondiaux d’aide humanitaire. L’aide d’urgence est une expression de la solidarité européenne envers les populations victimes de crise humanitaires.

Le service d’aide humanitaire et de protection civile de la Commission européenne assure la livraison rapide et efficace de l’aide d’urgence de l’UE à travers ses deux instruments principaux : l’aide humanitaire et la protection civile. La Commission assiste plus de 120 millions de victimes de conflits et de catastrophes chaque année.

Avec son siège à Bruxelles et un réseau mondial de bureaux de terrain, ECHO fournit une assistance aux personnes les plus vulnérables sur la seule base des besoins humanitaires.

Pour plus d’information, visitez le site web d’ECHO

La Commission intervient au Tchad depuis 1994, à la suite de la crise des réfugiés du Darfour. Au cours de la dernière décennie, la Commission a engagé plus de 341 millions d’euros pour les programmes humanitaires dans le pays. Depuis 2014, elle a mis à disposition plus de 89,5 millions d’euros pour l’assistance multisectorielle apportée aux personnes touchées par les crises.

A propos de l’UNICEF

L’UNICEF travaille dans 190 pays et territoires pour aider les enfants à survivre et à prospérer, de la petite enfance à l’adolescence. En plus d’être le plus grand fournisseur mondial de vaccins aux pays en développement, l’UNICEF soutient la santé et la nutrition infantiles, l’accès à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement, une éducation de base de qualité pour tous les garçons et les filles et la protection des enfants contre la violence, l’exploitation et le sida. L’UNICEF est entièrement financé par des contributions volontaires de particuliers, d’entreprises, de fondations et de gouvernements. Pour plus d’information, visitez www.unicef.org et pour des informations sur le partenariat entre l’UNICEF et l’Union européenne, consultez: http://www.unicef.org/eu/

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Les agents de santé tchadiens passionnés et dévoués comme Daresalam sont en première ligne pour sauver les enfants de la malnutrition – Regardez son histoire et téléchargez les contenus multimédia ici : http://weshare.unicef.org/C.aspx?VP3=ViewBox&DNID=2AM40GXXQPXW&DM=Distribution

Pour plus d’information, contactez :

Mathias Eick. Chargé de l’Information Globale, DG ECHO (Commission Européenne) Nairobi,

+ 254-717968426, Mathias.Eick@echofield.eu I http://ec.europa.eu/echo/

Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro I Chef de la Communication I UNICEF Tchad
+235 66 36 00 42 I lfandriamasinoro@unicef.org I www.unicef.org/chad