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

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.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of UNICEF Chad.
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