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

Mood Tense Ahead of Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid