Hunger in Chad is a huge issue – so huge that in 2016, the country had the second highest Global Hunger Index, after the Central African Republic. Relative to the strides the world has taken to lower GHI levels, the hunger in Chad is all too prevalent and must be addressed – here are some things you should know:
- Chad is an arid, low-income and landlocked country in Central Africa with a population of nearly 15 million. Of this predominantly rural population, 87 percent is surviving on US $1.25.
- One in three people in Chad are undernourished, and nearly 40 percent of children under 5 are therefore stunted in their growth.
- Hunger in Chad is largely due to various conflicts during its 40 years of independence, mainly consisting of tensions between ethnic groups in the north and south.
- Poverty and food insecurity prevent people from getting an education, leaving Chad with an average literacy rate of less than half of the population.
- In 2015, more than 2.4 million rural Chadians have become food insecure, of which 428,000 people are classified as severe food insecure.
- Both the country’s landlocked location and its desert climate contribute to the chronic food deficits and inhibit economic development.
- The maternal mortality rate, while improving, remains high at 980 deaths per 100,000 live births.
- Nearly 500,000 refugees and internally displaced persons reside in Chad because of ongoing violence in the region, mainly from Sudan, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
- The Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partnered with the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable, food-insecure Chadians and refugees from CAR, Nigeria and Sudan, providing over US $56 million dollars in 2016 alone.
- UNICEF provides ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat children with severe acute malnutrition.
Hunger in Chad is one of the biggest problems today, especially in the effort of reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 2: to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” Though the malnutrition and poverty are dire, much is being done to help those in need and help lift the region out of its slump.
– Mayan Derhy