News / Africa

Chad Faces Daunting Food Security, Health Challenges

A senior U.N. official says Chad faces daunting food security and health challenges.  Despite this, he says the peace and growing stability in Chad bodes well for the country’s future. 

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Chad Thomas Gurtner says Chad faces critical challenges, but also opportunities.  He says about 1.5 million people in the Sahel zone do not have enough to eat.  He says global acute malnutrition rates among children under five are more than 20 percent in most areas.

He says spotty and insufficient rainfall is likely to limit agricultural production in the months ahead, causing prices to rise and making food unaffordable for most people.

Meanwhile, more than 80,000 Chadian migrants have returned home from Libya to escape civil unrest there and thousands of others are waiting to return.  

Gurtner says one of the consequences of these returns is the loss of remittances to poor Chadian families. “Maybe half of the returnees were people that were actively sending maybe about $100 a month equivalent back into some of the poorer regions of Chad.  While we are already dealing with a food security crisis in these areas, the fact that there are now 80,000 more that need to be taken care of is putting even further pressure onto the system with prices increasing,” he explained. 

He says the government, with the help of aid agencies is struggling to contain the worst cholera epidemic in years, which has killed 400 people and left more than 13,000 people infected.  He says up to 15,000 more cases of cholera are expected over the next few weeks.

Despite these overwhelming problems, U.N. Coordinator Gurtner says he sees encouraging political changes in the country and believes they offer opportunities for improving conditions for the population.

He says Chad is hostage to a volatile political situation in the region and the country will always be influenced by what happens in neighboring Sudan, Libya, Niger and Central African Republic.

“But with at least stability and peace having returned over the last two years, there is a clear will within the country to move forward.  There is oil revenue, which is being in part now invested in infrastructure and provision of better health and social services,” Gurtner said.  

Gurtner cautions it will take a long time and considerable resources to improve conditions in one of the poorest countries in the world.  But he says he is moderately optimistic because Chad's government is willing to work to improve the situation of its population.


You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid