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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.

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:


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:

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

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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:

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, Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Dakar, Tel. +221 33 869 60 92, Mob. +221 77 740 92 17,



Children lives matter

By Badre Bahaji

I have been part of vaccination campaigns in many different regions and contexts, but nothing similar to the nomadic camp of Tchofio where a recent measles outbreak ravaged the community.

It is early morning as we head out to Abreche, in the Sahel Belt of Chad, where Oumar Mahazer, the Head of the health center is waiting for us. Many nomadic camps settle in his remote region during the rainy season but very few nomads make it to the health center. Today, he’s sending two vaccinators, Youssouf and Yaya, to the nomadic camp of Tchofio to immunize children against measles.

Ahmat Manani, 7. Children in the Nomad Camp of Tchofio in the Guera Region – Central Chad. Because of their multiple displacements and difficult access to basic social services, the local health center has organized various immunization campaign in the

Youssouf was born and raised in this area and knows every tree, every river around. “The nomads live with us but they move their camp twice a year looking for grazing and water points. Recently, I was in the market and saw nomadic children with red lips, eyes full of dirt and spots all over their bodies. I had almost no doubt that this was measles. I went to see their parents and I told them to go straight to the health center for medical care. I also alerted the authorities,” he said.

After a 30 minutes’ drive and a long walk in the bush under the heat, we get to the Tchofio nomadic camp. We realize that none of the children there had been immunized as we walk from tent to tent to sensitize families and immunize their children. “During the last measles outbreak, these nomads were not located here and they missed the campaign, it’s important to reach them to prevent any new epidemics,” adds Yaya.


Halime Attaï - 25 and her 4 children - all healed from measles outbreak. Children in the Nomadic Camp of Aboudroua in the Guera Region – Central Chad. Because of their multiple displacements and difficult access to basic social services, the local hea

Halime Attai, 25, is the mother of four beautiful children. During the last epidemic, early 2016 three of her children, Moussa, Izza and Mariam caught measles. “We were far away in the bush with our cattle, that’s why we missed the campaign but we have no problem with immunizing our children. We want them to be healthy, we have no reason to say refuse. Now that they are immunized, I don’t have to worry about that disease anymore,“ she said, smiling.

In Chad, because of conflict, or multiple displacements – inherent to the nomadic lifestyle – millions of children miss out on the basic vaccines they need to stay healthy and have a fair chance in life. Immunization against measles is an affordable and simple way to protect these children, especially the most underserved and marginalized communities.


Mariam Djibrine - 5  Children in the Nomadic Camp of Aboudroua in the Guera Region – Central Chad. Because of their multiple displacements and difficult access to basic social services, the local health center has organized various immunization campaign

Since the beginning of 2016, 318 cases of measles were detected in Chad. In total seven health districts in 4 regions were targeted to launch a mass immunization campaign. With support from the European Union’s humanitarian aid and civil protection department (ECHO), UNICEF launched an emergency immunization campaign. The response mobilized more than 700 vaccinators and community workers to reach close to 415 000 children aged 9 months to 14 years of age.

 Credit: UNICEF Chad/2016/Bahaji





Merveille : « We must not fight. Let’s play together »

By Cindy Cao

Feiganazoui Merveille is a young girl from the Central African Republic (CAR) who fled the horror of war. She arrived as an unaccompanied child and now lives alongside other refugees and Chadian returnees.

While other 14-years-old girls learn, plan and grow, Merveille had a different fate. She was only 14 when she saw her parents shot dead.

« It was 3am when the attacks started and I ran to school. At around 3pm, there were further attacks and my parents died. They were fleeing when they were shot. I saw them. They were behind me, » says Merveille with a placid tone. « Then I saw a truck from the Chadian Government. I didn’t have any time to think about it, I just jumped into it. My brothers and sisters stayed in Bossangoa. Since then I don’t have any news from my family. »

The recent conflict in CAR has affected Chad more than any other neighboring country. It was the main recipient of an influx of refugees and Chadians returnees who were living in CAR for generations. This displacement placed significant pressure on basic social services as well as the highly vulnerable host communities.

With support from the European Union and through the Instrument for Stability and Peace Building, five UN agencies (UNICEF, FAO, UNHCR, IOM, WFP) are involved in several regions to improve the living conditions of refugees, returnees and host communities in southern Chad.

Teaching for peace

« I live alone in a tent on a site, » says Merveille. « I’m happy because this site is safe. I want to stay here until there will be peace in CAR. » Here, Merveille has access to health services. « A month ago, I was sick and I went to the health center. I got a consultation and received medication. « 

The girl is looking forward to a peaceful future. Education will play a central role in any progress. « I go to school on the site and I’m CM2. Later, I hope to become a teacher to be able to give advice to children and promote peace. I will organize football games with children to promote team spirit. We are all brothers and sisters, you must not fight. You have to play together. »