N’DJAMENA, Chad, September 7, 2020/ — Highlights
- During the reporting period, 38,059 malnourished children were admitted and treated in the supported health centres, bringing the year-to-date total to 146,205 in the provinces targeted by HAC, with a cure rate of 91 percent.
- 245 children received psychosocial support, including in child-friendly spaces, bringing the year-to-date total to 3,105 children.
- 18,320 people received access to safe clean drinking water using water-purifying sachets for household water treatment and building of 17 new boreholes, bringing the year-to-date total to 44,947 people.
- In support of the National Contingency Plan for Preparedness and Response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF focused on limiting humanto-human transmission to protect individuals from exposure to COVID-19 and minimising morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. 335 trainers and community leaders were coached on COVID-19 prevention, bringing the total number of community members reached to 1,277 to date. In addition, 148,459 primary, secondary and high school students, including 62,096 girls, were reached with awareness-raising campaigns against COVID-19.
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Humanitarian Action for Children: Funding Overview and Partnerships
For 2020, UNICEF is requesting US$ 52,180,000 to assist 478,400 people including 448,600 children in humanitarian emergencies in Chad through the Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal*. Since the beginning of the year, UNICEF Chad has received the contributions of US$ 23.2 million from the United Kingdom, the European Commission, the United States of America, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Japan) and Sweden. A global humanitarian thematic funding of US$ 500,000 from the UNICEF National Committees of Norway, Denmark and the United States is also supporting flexible allocation of funds. Carried over funds from the previous year is providing an additional US$ 4 million, from the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and the United States of America, and Global humanitarian thematic funding.
UNICEF will continue to adapt and respond to critical humanitarian needs as they evolve and will advocate for flexible thematic and multi-year funding to reach the most vulnerable children and families with life-saving support. UNICEF is grateful to its partners for their continued support and appeals to them to provide further assistance to children whose needs have increased due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
*HAC 2020 does not include the funding requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic, for which the office issued a separate HAC appeal.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Chad is facing multiple humanitarian crises in 2020. According to an evaluation carried out by UNICEF and the World Food Programme, the deterioration of the harvest, combined with the impact of COVID-19 have increased the number of children aged 6 to 59 with acute malnutrition (from 1,711,090 to 1,893,199 including 526,984 children with severe acute malnutrition). For quality severe acute malnutrition treatment, 414,301 children aged 6 – 59 months were targeted in the Chad 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan.
A measles outbreak has been evolving since April 2018, despite the various response campaigns conducted in epidemic districts. Since the beginning of 2020, as of epidemiological week 34 (23 August), the country reported 8,499 measles cases including 39 deaths registered in eight districts (Béboto, Kyabé, Goundi, Korbol, Sarh, Kélo, Guélo and Bédaya). However, the trend of reported cases is significantly decreasing since epidemiological week 14 (April 5), due probably to the onset of the rainy season. As of 23 August, four districts were suspected of being in epidemic. 77 children were newly infected in July and 36 in August.
As of the same epidemiological period, 432 cases of meningitis were reported in 14 districts, including 40 deaths (10 %), with most of the cases in the Mandoul province. Due to seasonality, the number of meningitis cases is decreasing with 10 cases in July and five cases in August.
As of 26 August, 6,163 cases of Chikungunya have been confirmed in Abéché since March 2020, marking a steep increase over the past weeks. Although no death has been reported so far, the outbreak adds pressure on an already fragile health system.
The country is affected by an outbreak of cVDPV2 (circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses) since 2019. Because of the temporary deferral in responding to the outbreak due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the cVDPV2 outbreak is spreading across the country. Since the end of June, 15 new cases of cVPV2 have been confirmed positive. It brings the total to 59 cVDPV2 cases as of epidemiological week 33 (16 August), among which 56 Acute Flask Paralysis (AFP) cases with an onset date in 2020 and three environmental cases with collection date 2020 were confirmed positives.
Against this backdrop, the March 2020 outbreak of COVID-19 further exacerbated the weakness of the health system. As of 31 August 2020, 1,013 cases were reported in 15 provinces. 70 cases were reported in July and 77 cases in August. More than 23,084 people have been quarantined since the beginning of the pandemic, of which 1,070 were still under surveillance as of 26 August 2020. Health personnel represent 8% of the total reported cases.
The Chadian authorities have lifted the international travel ban in beginning of August 2020, yet passengers are required to present COVID-19 negative results followed by a seven-day quarantine and a negative control test before any movement. Given the country’s limited health structures and capacity, key challenges remain, and the spread of the virus is still of great concern. The procurement and provision of protective equipment and essential supplies has improved but remains limited. Other challenges include inadequate capacity for surveillance, tracing, case management, isolation of contacts, laboratory testing capacity especially at land borders, inadequate sanitation facilities in quarantine sites and public spaces, and limitations in provincial-level preparedness. The pandemic is expected to further strain the resources already insufficient to deliver essential health programmes. Vulnerable groups include the elderly, women and children, people with pre-existing conditions, urban populations dependent on daily earnings, and displaced persons. It is estimated that around 82,000 daily workers in N’Djamena will see their income reduced by the crisis.
Overall, it is estimated that by the end of 2020, some 6.4 million people , more than a third of the population of Chad, will require humanitarian assistance. The needs have increased from 5.3 million people. As a result of insecurity in the Lake Chad basin and neighbouring countries, Chad is hosting over 469 606 refugees, mainly from the Central African Republic and Sudan, and 236,4266 people are internally displaced. Humanitarian needs are increasing due to new population displacements in the Lac province and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is also extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change and natural disasters. In August 2020, massive floods in N’Djamena have left 10 people dead and 31,853 displaced.
UN agencies and NGOs are assisting the Government in responding to these needs, in accordance with the revised 2020 HRP and the National Contingency Plan for Preparedness and Response to the COVID-19 pandemic. UNICEF is contributing to the response in line with the 2020 WHO global Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, the Chad HRP 2020 and the 2020 UNICEF COVID-19 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal.