“Currently, the food security situation in is alarming,” reported , Merry Fitzpatrick, World Concern’s Interim Country Director in earlier this year. “We can expect the malnutrition rate to increase quickly at the start of the rainy season (June) if no improvement in assistance is given.”
Fitzpatrick was referring to the findings of a February 2007 assessment of the needs in the African country of Chad. Those predictions have come true, and CRWRC is responding to the crisis with food, seeds, and tools.
Over the past 4 years, has become host to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing out of Darfur (Sudan) to the east and to the south. These families have arrived with almost nothing and are now doing all they can to survive without their own fields, animals, savings, or belongings. Local families are sharing their limited resources such as water, firewood, and schools with refugee families, but the overload is taking its toll. Prices for meat and vegetables have increased, less farmland is being cultivated as more families take it over to build temporary homes, water tables are going down, and cash savings are being depleted.
To meet these growing needs, CRWRC is joining with the Global Relief Alliance to create sources of clean water, grow vegetables during the dry-season, and provide food to feed Chadian families until the new crop can be harvested. The Global Relief Alliance is a partnership of 6 agencies that has been working together to meet the needs of people living in Darfur, . This alliance includes CRWRC, Food for the Hungry International, MAP, Medical Teams International, World Concern, and World Relief. World Concern is taking on the lead agency role in .
The alliance now hopes to also help 20,000 people (approximately 4,000 families) in through a food for work program. The families will be asked to work together to build dams and other water projects that will equip them to irrigate fields during the dry season. In exchange for this work, families will be given vouchers that they can use to purchase food from local merchants. Families will also be given seeds and tools that they can use to cultivate fields and grow vegetables during the dry season. This will help them to meet their long-term food needs.
by: Kristen deRoo VanderBerg