UK Government supports UNICEF Chad in treating over 58,000 Chadian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition
N’Djamena, 04th April 2019 – The Government of the United Kingdom, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has committed another 4 million UK pounds to support UNICEF’s lifesaving interventions to scale up the treatment of severe acute malnutrition in Chad.
In Chad, the current humanitarian situation is characterized by recurrent emergencies, such as flooding, droughts, diseases outbreaks, food and nutrition insecurity, influx of refugees from neighbouring countries and a protracted conflict in the Lake Chad Basin area. Chad is currently ranked 186 out of 189 on the 2018 Human Development Index. Poor governance, poverty, low status of women and insufficient funding of basic social services remain barriers in improving children’s and women’s lives and constrain the development of the country.
Food insecurity, micronutrient deficiencies and sub-optimal infant feeding contribute to child undernutrition and therefore to child morbidity and deaths. In addition, the low access to basic health services, lack of safely managed drinking water combined with poor hygiene and sanitation conditions are key factors that impact the malnutrition rate and jeopardize child survival and development. Malnutrition in children manifests itself as stunting, wasting, essential vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
‘’Through the current grant of 4 million UK pounds, UNICEF will ensure the procurement of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), therapeutic milk and essential drugs, directly benefitting 58,670 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in 20 provinces of the country.’’ Said Viviane Van Steirteghem, Chad UNICEF Representative ‘’In addition, an estimated 40,000 mothers and caregivers of malnourished children will benefit from improved hygiene and sanitation conditions in 30 health facilities’’.
The DFID contribution will be distributed directly to the supported health facilities. UNICEF Chad will carry out regular monitoring exercises to ensure that the food aid effectively reaches the children requiring treatment, hence ensuring optimal recovery rates.
In 2018, thanks to DFID support, UNICEF was already able to order RUTF to ensure the treatment of 47,600 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The additional contribution for 58,670 cartons will allow to provide lifesaving assistance for children in need in the first quarter of 2019.
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For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/chad.