The food insecurity and malnutrition crisis in the Sahel region affected an estimated 3.6 million Chadians in 2012. Six out of 10 households were affected, with global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates above the critical threshold of 15 per cent in many areas. UNICEF reported almost 20,000 new cases of malnutrition in the Sahel belt since January 2012. A rapid food-security assessment organized by WFP and partners in June 2012 revealed that 1,829,000 people were food-insecure in the Sahel belt, 1.2 million of whom required food assistance and/or livelihoods support. A nutrition survey, conducted between April and August 2012, showed that in nine (out of 11) regions of the Sahel belt, the GAM rate was above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. In the two other regions, GAM rates were between 12 and 15 per cent. In 2012, an estimated 127,300 children under age 5 were at risk of severe acute malnutrition, and 300,000 children under age 5 were at risk of moderate acute malnutrition in the Sahel belt of Chad.
In 2012, there were an estimated 340,000 refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic in Chad, and 125,000 IDPs living Chad’s eastern region. Some 65,000 IDPs have voluntarily returned to their villages of origin. The conflict in Libya caused another 140,000 Chadians to cross the border from Libya to Chad. Many of these returned migrants arrived from Libya without documentation and sick and malnourished, often having suffered illegal detention and physical violence. Limited access to basic services and livelihoods opportunities remained a key concern.
Floods affected approximately 700,000 people in Chad in 2012, with 70,000 displaced, the majority of them in N’Djamena. An estimated 255,720 hectares of cropland were damaged, affecting the harvest in many parts of the country (east, south, south-west and centre) and causing extensive material damage and loss of life.
Although Chad avoided a cholera epidemic in 2012, there was a resurgence of other diseases, including poliomyelitis and measles, a spike in malaria and other water-related diseases, and a yellow fever epidemic in the east of the country.
In 2012, OCHA focused on strengthening humanitarian coordination mechanisms, supporting transition and building local capacity. OCHA supported the Humanitarian Coordinator in leading the HCT, which was streamlined into a decision making body, and managing coordination, cluster and inter-cluster coordination meetings. OCHA also redoubled support to NGOs to make clusters more effective, including cluster coordination training in N’Djamena with the participation of cluster coordinators and NGO co-facilitators. OCHA worked to ensure greater participation of State actors in cluster activities and, through a cluster-consultation process, mapped recurrent risks that affect the country.
In February 2012, OCHA organized an inter-agency needs assessment mission to evaluate the impact of the Libya crisis in the transit areas of Faya-Largeau and Ounianga Kebir. Mission participants were trained on the latest rapid needs assessment methodologies developed by the IASC such as the Multi-cluster Initial Rapid Assessment and new guidelines on coordinated assessments. The mission report was used to support a successful funding request to the UN Peacebuilding Support Fund.
In partnership with the UN Development Programme, OCHA organized a forum on innovative technology solutions in support of humanitarian activities. The initiative helped the humanitarian community in Chad to familiarize itself with new mobile cash transfer possibilities, strengthening the effectiveness and monitoring and evaluation of cash transfer programming in emergencies.
In September 2012, with OCHA support, a high-level IASC mission to Chad analysed and evaluated the implementation of the IASC Transformative Agenda (ITA). The lessons informed global-level ITA debates. Chad offered concrete examples of inter-cluster collaboration between clusters such as Health and WASH, and Food Security and Nutrition, as well as multi-sector coordination in responding to rapid-onset natural disasters and other sudden-onset emergencies. The recommendations were used to inform the HCT Action Plan for 2013.
OCHA regularly briefed the humanitarian community, including donors, about levels of humanitarian financing through the compilation and dissemination of monthly Humanitarian Bulletins, Funding Update Snapshots and the Humanitarian Dashboard. The office produced the CAP and Mid-Year Review. The 2012 CAP for Chad requested US$455 million and was 68 per cent funded. OCHA also helped secure $28 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund. OCHA’s role in helping donors to identity funding gaps through simple and user-friendly humanitarian finance information products was praised by donors such as Germany.
In 2012, OCHA created a public information and advocacy working group together with UN agencies and NGOs. The new Humanitarian Information Group worked on joint advocacy strategies and action plans to highlight humanitarian needs and response in Chad. OCHA took the lead as coordinator of the UN Communications Group and championed the implementation of a Sahel crisis communications strategy.
OCHA initiated and maintained capacity-building activities for Regional Action Committees (CRA) in collaboration with the four Government departments responsible for monitoring rural development in Chad (Agriculture, Environment, Livestock and Planning). OCHA brought these groups together to maximize results and pool human, material and financial resources. In April 2012, OCHA facilitated preparedness training sessions on data collection and analysis aimed at supporting local authorities based in the Sahel belt and Southern Chad, regions regularly affected by natural disasters (drought, flooding and severe rains) and epidemics. OCHA developed a multi-sector contingency plan for Chad for 2013-14, in consultation with national authorities.