Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked fifth from the bottom on the Human Development Index. It is landlocked, which means it has little access to water from seas or rivers, resulting in frequent droughts – and with 80% of the population relying on agriculture to survive, this can be devastating. These problems are made a lot worse by instability and conflict. Instability also means fluctuating food prices, leaving poor families struggling to survive, and a weak education system, with over half the population unable to read or write.
These problems are made a lot worse by instability and conflict. Instability also means fluctuating food prices, leaving poor families struggling to survive, and a weak education system, with over half the population unable to read or write.
Islamic Relief began working in Chad in 2006, during the Darfur conflict, when thousands fled to Chad to escape the fighting, overwhelmed the already struggling country. We provided immediate assistance to support the refugees and we continued working in Chad, focusing upon development work.
As well as emergency relief, we provide support to farmers, water and sanitation facilities, and training on reproductive health and midwifery, to tackle the maternal health problem suffered by Chad. We are also working to protect Chad from future droughts, by ensuring they are prepared to produce and store enough food during the times of water, so that it can be used during the times of drought.
With low rainfall frequently leaving entire villages hungry, Chad needs to prepare itself for droughts in advance. Islamic Relief is working in the Sila Province, giving over 23,000 people the tools and equipment to help produce food all year round, as well as new wells to irrigate land for years to come. Farmers are provided with seeds to grow crops which can survive the dry season, allowing them to build up food savings so that when times are hard, no-one needs to go hungry.