The Big Picture
Chad faces numerous challenges that have hindered its ability to make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Poverty is acute and widespread. The country is ranked 183 out of 187 in the world, and 61.9% of the population survives on an income of less than US $ 1.25 per day according to the UNDP Human Development Index in 2011.
Access to medical services is very limited and the Chadian health system chronically suffers from insufficient equipment, financial, and human resources. However, epidemics such as poliomyelitis, meningitis, measles, and cholera are recurrent and immunization rates are among the worst in the world. In terms of water, sanitation, and hygiene, only 52% households have access to potable water, and 16% to improved sanitation. Around 3.3% of the population is affected by HIV, and 120,000 children have been orphaned by AIDS while coverage of mother-to-child prevention services (PMTC) is only 7%. As for malnutrition, the rates of global acute malnutrition frequently exceed the WHO emergency threshold (15%).
Education remains quantitatively and qualitatively poor. The primary school enrollment rate is only 52%, with a gender parity index at 0.87, and only 5 out of 10 children complete the primary school. The protection situation for children and women is also alarming. Only 16% of under five children have had their births registered, and mechanisms to detect, prevent, and respond to sexual and gender-based violence are practically non-existent. On top of all that, the country's history of armed conflict has implied numerous grave violations of child rights, including the recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups. Chad has also taken in refugees from Sudan and the Central African Republic, and hosts numerous internally displaced people. Extreme weather occurrences (partly because of climate change), particularly droughts and floods also threaten the survival of children and women, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized ones.
To contribute to the realization of child rights in this complex context, UNICEF Chad concentrates its efforts on the following focus areas:
- Child survival and development,
- Basic education and gender equality,
- Child protection,
- Strategic communication: external relations and communication for development (C4D),
- Social policy, planning, monitoring and evaluation,
- Humanitarian action and emergency response.