Chad: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #2 (FY 2007)

Chad: Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #2 (FY 2007)

NOTE: The last fact sheet was dated January 22, 2007.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS

On January 26, a USAID/OFDA airlift containing emergency relief supplies, including blankets, plastic sheeting, and water containers, arrived in Abeche, eastern Chad. Consigned to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), these relief commodities will assist 20,000 newly internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Dar Sila and Assoungha departments of eastern Chad.

On January 27, the five-member USAID Assessment Team in eastern Chad concluded a two-week assessment of humanitarian conditions. The USAID Assessment Team confirmed reports of increasing IDP numbers in the region and highlighted the negative impact of escalating violence and the constraints of operating under a U.N. Phase IV security status on humanitarian access and programming. Due to the complex origins of displacement and inadequate humanitarian presence in the region, the USAID Assessment Team concluded that a more robust and localized response is necessary to address the expanding needs of IDPs.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
SOURCE
IDPs
112,000
OCHA(1) – January 2007
Affected Host Population
700,000
OCHA – November
Sudanese Refugees
234,000
OCHA – November 2006
Central African Republican (CAR) Refugees
50,000
OCHA – November 2006

HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE (FY 2006 AND 2007)

USAID/OFDA Assistance to Chad: $4,172,841

USAID/FFP2 Assistance to Chad: $42,168,200

USAID/OTI3 Assistance to Chad: $610,947

STATE/PRM4 Assistance to Chad: $53,104,920

Total USAID and State Humanitarian Assistance to Chad: $100, 056, 908

CURRENT SITUATION

Since October 2006, the IDP population in eastern Chad has nearly doubled from 60,000 to an estimated 112,000, according to OCHA. Burgeoning IDP numbers, the presence of more than 234,000 Sudanese refugees, and escalating violence are straining local resources and ongoing humanitarian operations to assist conflictaffected populations.

Humanitarian Access

The USAID Assessment Team reports that the U.N. Phase IV security status in eastern Chad resulting from the declining security environment is significantly affecting the humanitarian community’s ability to maintain current levels of programming and to augment their capacity to respond to the needs of the newly displaced. Since the implementation of U.N. Phase IV security regulations in November 2006, humanitarian agencies have withdrawn approximately 50 percent of staff from field locations in the east. In extreme cases, like Bahai, non-governmental organization (NGO) presence decreased from five to two and humanitarian staff declined by 70 percent.

Escalating insecurity and inadequate air transport capacity in the region are increasingly hampering humanitarian staff travel between Abeche and field locations in eastern Chad. U.N. agencies and USAID implementing partners are dependent on air transport due to the poor quality and insecurity of road conditions in the region. Although State/PRM-funded U.N. Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and Air Serv are currently operating in eastern Chad, additional air capacity is urgently needed to meet the requirements of IDP relief programs.

On January 24, a flight carrying the USAID Assessment Team from Abeche to Goz Beida was directed to return to Abeche in mid-flight due to reports of insecurity in Goz Beida. This was the USAID Assessment Team’s second planned attempt to travel to Goz Beida and illustrates the difficulties that humanitarian agencies face due to insecurity.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are currently accessing areas along the border of Chad and Sudan through private aircraft operations, while remaining areas are being serviced by U.N. and NGOs reliant on U.N. air transport.

Internally Displaced Populations

On January 25, the USAID Assessment Team met with U.N. agencies and NGOs operating in the Goz Beida, Koukou-Angarana, and Dogdore areas of Dar Sila Departement of eastern Chad where approximately 75,000 IDPs, or three-quarters of the total estimated IDP population, are located. The USAID Assessment Team reported that areas surrounding refugee camps have become key congregation points for IDPs, and identified needs include food distribution, clean water, health care, food security and relief commodities.

Limited access and insecurity in eastern Chad have complicated efforts to accurately identify the number of IDPs in the region. Humanitarian agencies report a range of estimates. ICRC and the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) report estimates of 75,000 IDPs, while OCHA, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimate the IDP population at 112,000. The USAID Assessment Team believes that the actual number most likely lies between the two, due to secondary displacements that may have resulted in double counting. U.N. and NGOs are discussing preparations to conduct a comprehensive profiling of IDP needs in the region.

In Goz Beida, USAID/OFDA partner International Relief and Development (IRD) is currently implementing food security programming. In addition, USAID also supports U.N. agencies operating in the region, including the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for food security and coordination support, OCHA for overall coordination, UNICEF for the provision of basic health care and water services, and WFP for food assistance to IDPs, refugees, and host communities. State/PRM supports UNHCR and ICRC programs, as well as numerous NGOs, in eastern Chad for the provision of services to both IDPs and refugees.

Refugees and Host Communities

On January 22, the USAID Assessment Team visited Iriba town and Iridimi refugee camp in eastern Chad. The team reported low-level tensions between refugees and the host community, centered on grazing rights for refugeeowned livestock and excessive foraging for firewood. Competition for scare resources has led to increasingly strained relations between refugee and host community populations throughout the region.

Nearly $3.9 million in USAID/OFDA-funded programs continue to support host community activities designed to mitigate resource-based tensions between Sudanese refugees and local populations in eastern Chad. However, due to insecurity, USAID/OFDA partners report significant delays in project implementation. USAID/OFDA is working closely with partners to monitor conditions and to adjust programs as needed in response to changing conditions on the ground.

State/PRM supports ongoing protection and assistance programs for refugees from Sudan and CAR in Chad. Funded programs deliver essential services including food security, shelter, health, and water and sanitation, in addition to education, livelihoods training, as well as HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence awareness education.

Food Assistance

The current WFP Emergency Operation (EMOP) for Chad provides food assistance to approximately 80,000 IDP and local population beneficiaries for five months. However, present warehouse capacity is insufficient to ensure adequate IDP and refugee food assistance is pre-positioned before the onset of the rainy season in June. In addition, the USAID Assessment Team reported that limited access and insecurity have diminished NGO partner capacity to implement an expanded assistance program should monthly distributions for a larger population become necessary.

USAID is working with U.N. and NGO implementing partners to address the need for greater logistical planning and donor support to facilitate pre-positioning targets. To date in FY 2007, USAID/FFP has provided 20,410 metric tons (MT) of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance valued at nearly $20 million for WFP programs in eastern Chad.

Coordination

According to the USAID Assessment Team, the present level of coordination among humanitarian agencies should be strengthened to address the complex IDP situation in eastern Chad. A more robust and coordinated response strategy is required to ensure coverage of expanding needs.

USAID/OFDA has provided $200,000 to OCHA to support the establishment of a coordinating office in Abeche to facilitate a more robust field presence.

Notes:

(1) U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

(2) USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP)

(3) USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI)

(4) Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (STATE/PRM)