UNICEF Ireland’s Executive Director Peter Power is currently in Chad to see first hand the impact of the food crisis in the Sahel region of Africa. This is his first update from his trip…
The conditions are truly dramatic; more difficult than I have ever experienced. Temperatures of 47C is making travel very difficult. Without doubt Chad is a country in crisis. After 40 years of conflict and instability, it is poorly placed to deal with the food shortages it currently faces. To be a child in Chad today is a daily struggle for survival.
The population of Chad has doubled in the the last 20 years ballooning from 5 to 11 million. There is virtually no health system to talk about so if a child gets sick it is entirely dependent on agencies like UNICEF to help.
We’re currently on route to Abeche – a very remote area near the Sudaneese border. Throughout Chad’s Sahel belt, over 260 UNICEF-supported nutritional centres are operational, with plans to assist all 127,300 at-risk under-five children. – like this little child being weighed in a sling scale at a UNICEF-supported feeding centre in Chagoua Dispensary in N’Djamena, the capital.