Ndjamena, 13 March 2014
Malnutrition is an important factor globally in the deaths of 45% of children under five (WHO Factsheet 178, 2013). In Chad, the rates of child mortality remain perennially high, with more than one in six children dying by the age of five (UNICEF Chad Country Profile 2012). The rates are even higher, year after year, in certain regions of Chad that are particularly vulnerable to shocks such as epidemics and food insecurity. Even children who survive malnutrition suffer lifelong impacts on brain development.
World Vision, in a joint publication with Save the Children entitled Ending Everyday Emergency, declares that reducing child under-nutrition must be central to resilience-building efforts in the Sahel. For these reasons, nutrition should be a highest priority of food security programs in Chad.
To address this problem, World Vision (WV) and the World Food Program (WFP), with support from the Chad Ministry of Public Health, signed a partnership in 2013 to reduce child malnutrition in 14 health centers of the Abtouyour department in the Guera region. Approximately 5,000 beneficiaries were served each month in October, November, and December 2013, which included children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women. Despite the successful outcomes of the program, it was suspended in February 2014 due to lack of resources.
These children and women in Guera are among the most vulnerable in Chad, and World Vision therefore calls upon all donors and humanitarian agencies to ensure that child nutrition remains a priority for all food security programs. WFP in Chad has reduced its projected number of beneficiaries of supplementary feeding programs by over 150,000, while increasing general food distributions to adult populations (WFP Budget Revision #04).
Guera has the highest population in severe food insecurity, as well as the lowest coping strategies index (poorest resilience) in all of Chad, according to the National Food Security Assessment conducted jointly by WFP, FAO, and Government of Chad in November 2013.
For more information please contact:
John S. Scicchitano, World Vision Chad National Director – +235 22 51 75 99