Lake Chad. Combating malnutrition by promoting school attendance
marker icon Chad   
30-01-2023 | di COOPI

Lake Chad. Combating malnutrition by promoting school attendance

In 2022, the nutritional emergency in Chad reached unprecedented levels: more than 1.7 million children under the age of 5 needed food assistance. For this reason, since August 2022, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale has been carrying out the project "Emergency initiative to support the health and nutritional needs of the population affected by conflict and natural disasters in Chad" funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. The project addresses the structural causes of food insecurity in Chad and its link to school dropout. 

The intervention aims to promote education and improve the level of food and nutrition security of vulnerable populations in the Department of Mamdi, supporting two of the social groups most affected by the food crisis: women and children. In fact, while the project aims to improve the response of school-age children and their families to nutritional shocks, it also wants to increase the resilience of women in the communities involved, fostering women's empowerment and strengthening community networks. 

Through specific training and the creation of school gardens managed directly by students, teachers and parents, the project aims to combat malnutrition directly in schools and, at the same time, improve school attendance. The school garden will thus combine classroom theory with practice through demonstrations and observations to broaden the vocabulary base and develop reading skills in children. 

In Chad, 42% of the population lives below the poverty line and 27.2% of households have limited food consumption*. Insufficient access to healthy and balanced nutrition by children and the low level of knowledge of reference figures such as teachers and parents about food security are among the main causes of malnutrition. COOPI's presence in the country, dating back to 1976, allows us to have an in-depth knowledge of the problems that afflict the country and work on the ground to find the best solutions, supporting communities.

*Source: Harmonised framework for identifying areas at risk and food and nutritionally insecure populations in the Sahel and West Africa. Information and Early Warning System on Food Security in Chad. March 2022.