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Below-average agricultural production and pressure on livelihoods worsen food security in Lac Province and the East of the country

  • Food Security Outlook
  • Chad
  • October 2023 - May 2024
Below-average agricultural production and pressure on livelihoods worsen food security in Lac Province and the East of the country

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  • Key Messages
  • National Overview
  • Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year
  • Areas of Concern
  • Key Messages
    • In the East, the deterioration in livelihoods, triggered by both the influx of refugees and inadequate rainfall, has resulted in a corresponding deterioration in food consumption among refugees, returnees, and host households. In the Lac region, declines in production, coupled with the erosion of income sources due to the security context linked to non-state armed groups, are limiting access to food for displaced and host households. In Tibesti and the two provinces of Ennedi Est and Ennedi Ouest, the decline in inflows, exacerbated by border insecurity with Libya and the suspension of inflows from Sudan caused by the Sudan crisis, persists in creating consumption disparities due to restricted access to markets. Despite the crisis adaptation strategies developed by refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and host households in these areas, these households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). In the rest of the country, the admittedly low contribution of rainfed crops nonetheless improves the food consumption of very poor and poor households, which are in acute food insecurity Minimal (IPC Phase 1).
    • Disturbances in the rainy season led to declines in yields in many parts of the country. In the Sahel, the presence of Chadian refugees and returnees in agricultural areas reduced crop yields during the season. Long dry spells and rainfall deficits have resulted in losses of cultivated areas in Ouaddaï and Sila. As a result, the current harvests are lower than in a normal year.
    • In the Sahel, below-average rainfall during the season has resulted in limited pasture availability. In the Sahel's home areas, semi-temporary pools have been dry since late September, earlier than a typical year. This has prompted transhumant herders, anticipating a shortage of pastoral resources, to depart early for the Sudanian zone beginning in early September 2023. In Lac, an early return of pastoralists to the islands has been observed, prompted by the low availability of grazing land. 
    • The massive influx of refugees into the three provinces of Ouaddaï, Sila, and Wadi Fira is causing food insecurity in host households. In Adré, the number of refugees and returnees is around four times greater than the local population and has put pressure on livelihoods which have been severely degraded. The need for food aid is increasing rapidly. However, FEWS NET does not have sufficient data on food aid, the monthly numbers of beneficiaries, the content of rations, or the amount of cash transfers to assess aid coverage. The situation is very volatile and could change in the coming months. FEWS NET continues to closely monitor the food consumption of refugees, returnees, and host households. 

    National Overview

    Current Situation

    Socio-political context: The precarious political lull that prevailed after the protests on 20 October 2022 against the extension of the transition and the reappointment of the current transition president has been temporarily broken. Judicial measures, widely denounced by political and civil society players, have been taken against the leaders of the "Transformers" party. However, an agreement in principle was signed between the government and opposition players, notably from the "Transformers" party, at the end of October 2023 in Kinshasa under the aegis of the Congolese Facilitator. In addition, government preparations for the referendum on 17 December 2023 are underway. 

    Regional context and population movements (Sudan): The Sudan crisis continues to provoke massive and regular influxes of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees into Chad. More than 500,000 people, including 80,986 Chadian returnees, are being received in the east of the country (IOM). Children and women make up the majority of these refugees. 

    Security context (politico-military conflicts, inter-community conflicts, and population movements): In mid-August 2023, clashes between rebel groups and government forces were reported in the Tibesti region. This resumption of hostilities marks the end of the ceasefire between the belligerents, which has been in force for over a year. The army has deployed additional troops to reinforce surveillance of the Chad-Libya border. This renewed tension is affecting cross-border flows, particularly those to Chad. 

    Since the end of September 2023, an increase in farmer-breeder conflicts has been observed in several localities in the southern zone. In the Moyen Chari region, new outbreaks of farmer-herder conflict were recorded in Koumogo and Korbol, where nearly a dozen people were killed and several seriously injured. The June 2023 security crisis in the Nya Pendé department has had an impact on the agricultural season. More than 16,000 people who fled insecurity to seek refuge in the Central African Republic (CAR) have not returned. 

    In the Lac region, recurrent movements of people due to persistent insecurity during the rainy season continue to undermine the food security of IDPs and host households. In August 2023, some 3,000 Chadians left Lac province for Niger in search of opportunities, as insecurity exacerbated their precarious situation. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports the return of 100 households of Chadian returnees who are now leaving Niger due to insecurity.

    Agricultural situation:

    • Rainy season: The rainy season was severely disrupted by below-normal rainfall and long dry spells in most parts of the country, with production declines more pronounced in the Sahel. Rainfall deficits have also favored the appearance of crop pests, including armyworms in Sila, reported by the provincial agricultural services. The national locust control agency (ANLA) has reported the presence of mature and winged locust larvae in Mao in Kanem and Salal in Bahr El Ghazel (BEG). However, the locust situation is generally stable. Cantharid attacks on cowpeas have been reported in Moyen Chari. In Abtouyour and Mangalmé in Guéra and in Abou Deia in Salamat, grain-eating birds and beetles were also reported, with significant damage to crops. The settlement of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees on agricultural land in Ouaddaï (Assongha department) and in the Sila province has significantly reduced winter cropping by an average of almost 30 percent. In the Sudanian zone, ongoing harvests that started in mid-October contrast with the Sahel, where significant delays, varying from zone to zone, have been reported due to disturbances during the season, leading to the need for reseeding. 
    • 2023-2024 hot off-season campaign: Activities currently being carried out can be summarized as: weeding and transplanting of recession sorghum (berbere) in Salamat and Guéra, and rice transplanting and berbere plot maintenance in Mayo Kebbi. In the Western Sahel (Kanem, BEG), market gardening is intensifying, as it is increasingly supported by humanitarian and development organizations as a means of building resilience. Despite the enthusiasm of the growers, they are limited by the price of fuel for the motor pumps.

    Pastoral situation and livestock movements: From mid-September 2023, the low availability of pasture and the early drying-up of semi-permanent ponds used for livestock watering led to an early transhumance towards the south and Sila starting in September 2023 instead of December. The first herds reached the southern zone, in Moyen Chari, Tandjilé, and on the borders between the provinces of Mayo Kebbi Est and Chari Baguirmi. The early presence of pastoralists in the south of the country has led to pastoral overload and competition between transhumant herders for access to and control of pastoral areas. In addition to the pressure on pastoral resources, recurrent brawls between farmers and herders have been recorded since the arrival of these transhumants in Moyen Chari. 

    Household and institutional stocks: For the institutional stock, during 2023, the Office National de Sécurité Alimentaire (ONASA) sold 33,000 tons of cereals at moderate prices. Currently, the institutional cereal stock available is 18,000 tons, whereas current needs are estimated at 53,000 tons.

    In the Sudanian zone, current harvests are helping to replenish household stocks. However, levels are slightly below a normal year due to lower production. In the Eastern Sahel, more significant declines were recorded, particularly in the refugee zone. The pressure exerted on resources by very poor and poor households in the Sahel, refugees, and Chadian returnees is reducing the quantities of resources available.

    Livelihoods: In most areas of the country, household livelihoods are deteriorating as a result of declines in agricultural production, poor pastoral conditions, and disruptions in flows linked to security constraints. The volumes of food products imported from Libya are significantly reduced by the security disruptions at the border, thus impacting the income from the local workforce involved in their distribution. In Lac, in the absence of food aid, the displaced resort to wild foods to supplement the small volumes of in-kind payments received for agricultural work. Income levels are generally falling due to the scarcity of opportunities in the face of the oversupply of agricultural and non-agricultural labor in farming and agropastoral areas. Daily wages are largely down, reaching only40 percent compared with a typical year. Income from the sale of handicrafts, wild products, and faggots is very limited. In Mangalmé, Ouaddaï, and Sila, seasonal migration began earlier than in a normal year and is reported to have intensified due to seasonal trends, suggesting a drop in agricultural production. Livestock exports to Sudan and Nigeria are zero and reduced, respectively. This affects the income levels of households, agropastoralists, and pastoralists in Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira, BEG, Kanem, and Batha. In Tibesti, the ban on artisanal gold panning since June 2022 significantly reduces the income levels of most very poor and poor households and it’s use by local craftsmen and those from other provinces is restricted. Cross-border trade and migration are slowed by insecurity. These activities generate paltry income. 

    Food markets: The supply of food products is below normal due to production cuts, the halt in the inflow of products imported from Sudan, and security disruptions at the border with Libya. High transport costs are exacerbating declines in market supply volumes. An atypical increase in cereal demand is observed in most parts of the country, particularly in the eastern provinces, due to the influx of Sudanese refugees and returnees. Beccause of high level of demand, food prices are rising atypically, compared with the five-year average. Millet prices are increasing in Abéché (38 percent), N'Djaména (23 percent), Moundou (41 percent), and Sarh (34 percent). Sorghum shows the largest price increases compared with the five-year average in Sarh (55 percent) and Kélo (77 percent). 

    Livestock markets: A decline in supply has been observed in the markets of Adré and Dogdoré, localities close to the Sudanese border, due to the risks associated with the current situation in Sudan, which could lead to cattle theft. The early departure of transhumants and sedentary herds entrusted to pastoralists to the south of the country reduces supplies to the Biltine market, one of the main markets in the area. The Sila market is oversupplied with livestock due to the presence of transhumant. The closure of the Niger-Nigeria border has led to a massive detour of livestock through Cameroon to transport cattle from Chad to Nigeria, despite the depreciation of the Nigerian naira. Localized increases in cattle prices, compared with the five-year average, were observed in Abéché (37 percent) due to the presence of intermediaries for collection destined for Nigeria. Livestock markets in Mayo Kebbi Est, Mayo Kebbi Ouest, and Tandjilé on the Cameroon border are showing moderate increases compared with the five-year price average (15 to 35 percent) due to demand for exports to Cameroon and Nigeria. 

    Nutritional situation: High rates of admissions of severely malnourished children were reported in areas hosting Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees between June and September 2023. The massive influx of these people is an additional burden on basic social services, which are already fragile due to poor hygiene and sanitation practices, as well as water-borne diseases. This strain, coupled with the food deficits associated with the lean season, has probably contributed significantly to the high levels of acute malnutrition.

    Humanitarian situation: A total of 519,570 people, including 77,320 Chadian returnees, have taken refuge in Chad because of insecurity in Sudan. These people have lost their livelihoods and are being accommodated in newly created transit sites or camps located in 35 villages; Ouaddaï is home to over 327,000 people (UNCHR, updated 19 October 2023). Adré, capital of the Assoungha department in the Ouaddaï region, hosted refugees and returnees far exceeding its population of less than 62,000 (INSEED 2023 estimate). For example, humanitarian actors in Adré have documented over 240,000 refugees and returnees. These refugees are in host households and on transit sites, waiting to be moved to new or existing refugee camps further away from the border. Food aid was provided by the WFP to 440,279 people, i.e., 384,881 refugees, 38,660 Chadian migrant returnees, and 16,738 people from vulnerable populations in the various localities of the Eastern reception zone. However, FEWS NET does not have details of the monthly distribution and content of these food aid packages. The delay in mobilizing funding to assist these refugees and returnees is limiting the response of humanitarian organizations to the food needs of refugees, who depend mainly on this aid. Faced with extreme food insecurity, many refugees/returnees live off begging and the solidarity of host households. In Lac, since the cessation of assistance since the beginning of the lean season, the food needs of displaced individuals and host households are no longer compensated.

    Current Food Security Outcomes

    In the Eastern host provinces (Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira, and Sila) and in Lac, food consumption by refugees, returnees, IDPs, and host households continues to deteriorate due to pressure on markets and competition for livelihoods. This is further exacerbated by the decline in food production, which limits the availability of cereals. Refugees and returnees are creating pressure on the low cereal stocks of host households. Limited supplies of imported and manufactured food products are increasing pressure on markets, leading to atypical price increases. As a result, purchasing volumes are very limited due to low levels of income. Refugees, returnees, and host households in the provinces of Ouaddaï, Sila, and Wadi Fira struggle to meet their food requirements, despite the use of begging by many refugees, and they are in acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with some households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The need for food aid is enormous in these provinces as refugees and returnees depend upon it. However, the delay in funding from humanitarian organizations is affecting the implementation of this emergency food aid, which has even been halted in Lac since April 2023. In Lac, low household production levels mean that the basic food needs of the displaced and host households cannot be met. They are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. Very poor and poor households in Tibesti face consumption deficits due to disruptions to inflows and the degradation of livelihoods (including artisanal gold panning, cross-border trade, and migration), caused by persistent insecurity on Chad's borders. In the two provinces of Ennedi Ouest and Ennedi Est, very poor and poor households are suffering consumption deficits from the combined effects of the Sudan crisis and insecurity on the Chad-Libya borders. As a result, very poor and impoverished households in Tibesti, Ennedi Est, and Ennedi Ouest cannot meet their consumption needs without resorting to crisis adaptation strategies and in acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 

    Household food consumption in western Sahel is also deteriorating, due to poor rainfall and a mediocre pastoral situation. They have little access to food due to price levels that significantly limit the volume of purchases on the markets they depend on for their consumption and are therefore in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The insecurity caused by inter-community conflicts in June 2023 resulted in a poor harvest, leaving the populations of Bekan canton (Nya Pendé department) with low and minimally adequate food consumption. These households use negative strategies such as atypical reduction in the number of meals and intense use of recently harvested products during harvest periods, among others, to satisfy their consumption needs and are therefore in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In the central Sahel (Batha, Guéra, Salamat) and in the Sudanian zone, food consumption by very poor and poor households is improving thanks to ongoing harvests supplemented by winter produce at the end of the rainy season. Households in these areas are in Minimal (IPC Phase 1).


    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Assumptions

    The most likely scenario for food security from October 2023 to May 2024 is based on the following assumptions, in relation to changes in the national context:

    • Socio-political context and internal security: Protests against the high cost of living and political challenges to the transition process by civil society and political players are expected to continue, with a slight increase until early 2024. Also, despite the lifting of the suspension of political activities for some opposition parties on 21 January 2023, it is unlikely that demonstrations will draw larger crowds than those observed in the last quarter of 2022, due to the government's heavy-handed response against protests. In Lac, incursions by members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) are expected to persist at least until May 2024, but will remain at levels below those observed in 2022, and well below the trends observed over the previous five years.

    • Politico-military conflict and security:

    • Localized operations conducted by rebel groups in northern Chad will increase until May 2024, although they are expected to be contained by Chadian forces.
    • Deploying a large number of troops in Logone to deter potential incursions by Chadian rebels from the northern Central African Republic may instill fear among the local populations. In Logone Oriental (Monts de Lam, Nya Pendé, Kouh-Est, and Kouh-Ouest), there may be forced displacements of the population, mainly young people, to other provinces to shield themselves from reprisals, against a backdrop of accusations of complicity by the defense and security forces. 

    • Inter-community conflicts: In the southern zone, latent outbreaks of inter-community disputes (Mandoul, Moyen-Chari) could lead to skirmishes due to the early arrival of transhumant herders, followed by the devastation of fields during the harvest. These conflicts could persist during the first part of the scenario period or even beyond, and thus become widespread in the various provinces of the Sudanian zone, particularly in the off-season rice and berbere growing areas of Mayo Kebbi Est and Tandjilé. 

    • Rainfed and off-season production: Declines in production levels are expected due to rainfall disturbances during the rainy season and reductions in agricultural space in areas hosting refugees and returnees from the east of the country. Due to low soil moisture levels resulting from the low rainfall recorded during the rainy season, the planted area in the off-season (March to May 2024) will be below average in Lac and in the rice-growing basin, as will the quantity of the flood recession sorghum (berbere) harvest in Guera and Salamat in December 2023. In the southern basin of the Chari-Logone system, the use of irrigation for off-season rice, particularly in Mayo Kebbi Est, and the intensification of market gardening in the western Sahel, will be hampered by high fuel prices.

    • Institutional cereal stocks: Security challenges arising from the proliferation of tension hotspots may lead to a concentration of budget allocations, potentially diminishing resources allocated for the replenishment of institutional stocks. The levels of these stocks will be moderately lower than in a normal year. 

    • Pastoral situation: Disruptions during the rainy season (dry spells and low cumulative rainfall) have an impact on the pastoral situation, due to low grazing levels and the early drying-up of ponds starting late September (instead of December as expected in a normal year). Sedentary herds will make greater use of shrub and thorny foliage, which will become progressively scarce from January 2023 onwards (instead of April in a normal year). Low levels of pastoral resources have a negative impact on animal body condition, milk production, and the availability of dairy products. 

    • Sudan crisis: The persistence of the security crisis in Sudan will continue to cause influxes of refugees and returnees to peri-border areas in Chadian territory. These influxes will increase according to the severity of the security situation in Sudan and may be greater throughout the period covered by this scenario.

    • Changes in livelihoods: Agricultural incomes (labor and crop sales) will be lower than in a normal year due to lower rainfall, oversupply of labor (low daily wages), and low production, particularly in agricultural and agropastoral areas. Reduced export demand due to the Sudan crisis, combined with the depreciation of the Nigerian naira and increased transportation expenses, is expected to diminish income from the sale of small ruminants. An erosion of other income sources (domestic employment, handling, handicrafts, sale of gathering products, e.g., faggots) induced by the pressure on opportunities will keep incomes at atypically low levels in the refugee-hosting areas of Lac and Western Sahel. The steady flow of artisanal gold miners back to the Tibesti sites and the economic slowdown will limit the income derived from migration by very poor and poor households in BEG and Kanem.

    • Food markets:

      • Supplies: Decreases in grain market supply volumes compared with the average and same period last year will be observed in most areas of the country. These trends are linked to low production levels and high transport costs. The availability of imported products will be significantly lower than in a normal year because of the insecurity at the Libyan borders and the closure of the land borders with Sudan. 

      • Supply: From October 2023 to May 2024, the supply of food products from off-season harvests will remain lower than in a normal year, due to low rainfall? and off-season harvests, as well as high fuel prices which hampered irrigation in rice-growing areas and in Lac. 

      • Demand: Early market dependence, which will occur around February to March 2024 due to low production levels and depletion of household cereal stocks, will result in significantly high and sustained demand pressure, particularly in refugee-hosting areas (Ouaddaï, Sila) in the Sahel. This atypical rise in demand will continue throughout the analysis period, due to the influx of refugees, the halt in incoming flows from Sudan, disruptions to flows from Libya, and difficulties in mobilizing funds for humanitarian assistance.  

    • Prices: A significant upward trend, compared to the current five-year average of prices, will continue from the end of the first scenario period, around December. This trend will be driven by low cereal stock levels, which will result in sustained market demand. High price levels, illustrated by the price of millet, will continue throughout the scenario period (Figure 1). 

    Figure 1

    Millet price projections on the N'Djamena market (XAF/kg)
    Projections des prix du mil sur le marché de N’Djaména (XAF/kg)

    Source: FEWS NETE, septembre 2023

    • Livestock markets

      • Supply: Livestock markets will be oversupplied, particularly in the western Sahel and the east of the country, because of the halt in flows with Sudan. Exports to Nigeria will operate at a slower pace due to the political situation in Niger, which prevents trade at the Niger-Nigeria border, one of the main crossings for Chadian livestock into Nigeria. 

      • Demand: Despite a slight increase in exports via Cameroon, the depreciation of the Nigerian naira and high transport costs will limit the volume of livestock outflows. Local demand will remain weak because of the economic slowdown, which reinforces financial precariousness limiting the purchasing power of very poor and poor households.

      • Prices: Prices on local markets will be slightly lower than in a normal year throughout the scenario. The poor physical condition of livestock due to poor pastoral conditions (early pastoral lean season) will worsen the downward trend in livestock market prices from the end of January. Occasional price increases will occur during festive periods (end of December, Ramadan), but will remain at levels close to or slightly above average. 

    • Nutritional situation: From February 2024, as harvests begin to run out, the number of cases of acute malnutrition is expected to gradually increase. In conflict-affected areas and those hosting IDPs, the deterioration in the nutritional situation is likely to reach serious-to-critical levels in April/May 2024 due to increased food consumption gaps related to the lean season and an insufficient humanitarian response. 
    • Humanitarian situation: A continuing deterioration in the humanitarian situation will likely be observed during the analysis period due to the continuing influx of Sudanese refugees. The incursions and subsequent attacks by armed group elements in Lac will prompt population movements, notably from island regions to the mainland. This will exacerbate the strain on food consumption for local populations in these already severely affected areas. The interventions of humanitarian actors could be challenged by insufficient funding for assistance in areas hosting Sudanese refugees in the east of the country, or systematic cessation of assistance, as in Lac. 

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    Between October 2023 and January 2024: Refugees and returnees as well as very poor and poor host households in Ouaddai and Sila will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), with the exception of the Ouara department. Food supplies from Ouara's own production and internal flows will promote better food access in this department compared to other departments in the province. The low availability of cereals coupled with high prices on the markets, as well as the erosion of the main sources of income, will lead to consumption deficits for displaced people in Lac. Consumption gaps will be observed in the provinces of Tibesti, Ennedi Est, and Ennedi Ouest due to low availability of imported products, high transport costs, and low levels of income limiting access to markets, respectively, for very poor and poor households. These households will not be able to meet food consumption needs without resorting to crisis adaptation strategies and there will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The situation could worsen overall in Lac and in the eastern host provinces due to the pressure of displaced people from Lac and refugees and returnees from the east, some of whom are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). The need for food aid will continue to increase with the influx of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees and is crucial to preventing a deterioration in their food consumption. Households in Nya Pende will see their food consumption reduced by a minimal amount due to low production resulting from the departure of many producers to the CAR and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2). The availability of crops and other wild products will support consumption by very poor and poor households in Batha, Guéra, and Salamat, as well as those in the southern provinces. These households will be in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity.

    Between February 2024 and May 2024: The deterioration of the food situation of very poor and poor households in the Saharan provinces (Ennedi Est, Ennedi Ouest, Tibesti), Sudanese refugees, Chadian returnees, and host households in the Eastern Sahel will persist. This situation will be caused by consumption deficits resulting in part from low volumes/cessations of flows from Sudan. Pressure and competition for livelihoods will compound this deterioration both in the east of the country and in Western Sahel. Refugees and returnees in the eastern part of the country, IDPs, and host households in Lac, along with very poor and poor households in the Mangalmé department, will continue to experience consumption deficits. Despite employing crisis strategies, they will be unable to fulfill their essential food requirements and will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with some? households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). Households in the central Sahel provinces (Guéra, Batha) will not be able to meet their food consumption without resorting to adaptation strategies. They will have a minimally adequate food intake and will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Off-season production (berbere, market gardening) will boost household food consumption in the Sudanian provinces resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes.

    Events that Might Change the Outlook

    AreaEventImpact on food security outcomes
    NationalInsecurity in TibestiThe worsening security situation in Tibesti could further disrupt the inflow of products through non-formal channels from Libya. This would result in an increase in demand for local food products as a substitute for more expensive and less available imported products in the Sahelian and Saharan provinces. 
    Constitutional referendumDisruptions to the referendum process could have an impact on the functioning of markets, or even reduce humanitarian interventions for refugees, returnees, and host households, and cause atypical price variations.
    Fuel shortagesCould cause a reduction in the movement of humanitarian actors, therefore limiting assistance operations. Shortages may also further restrict fuel supply and drive prices  well above to projected.
    East cereals and market gardening livelihood zone (TD 06) of Chad, Ouaddaï, and Sila Provinces  Security crisis in Sudan A ceasefire as a result of negotiations, or an end to the Sudanese conflict following the victory of one side over the other, would limit the influx of people seeking safety into Chad. Refugee population forecasts could stabilize and remain at levels close to those currently observed and this situation could result in a reduction in households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3).
    Intense deployment of humanitarian assistanceThe significant mobilization of humanitarian assistance and its intensification for the benefit of refugees, returnees, and host households would promote improved food access for refugees, returnees, and host households. This would result in a decrease in households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3). 
    Agropastoral and fishing livelihood zone (TD08) in Chad's Lac ProvincePersistence of insecurity in LacThe resurgence of attacks by armed groups would worsen the food insecurity of IDPs? and host households. 
    Permanent termination of assistanceThe food consumption of IDPS? displaced people and host households in Lac could deteriorate to worse levels than expected in this scenario.

     


    Areas of Concern

    East cereals and market gardening products livelihood zone (TD06) of Ouaddaï and Sila Provinces (Figure 2) 

    Current Situation

    Figure 2

    East cereals and market gardening products livelihood zone (TD06), Ouaddaï and Sila Provinces
    Zone de moyen d’existence Est céréaliers et produits maraîchers (TD06), Provinces du Ouaddaï et Sila

    Source: FEWS NET

    Sudan crisis and impacts on food security in Chad: Chad continues to be affected by the consequences of the Sudan crisis. Shared land borders have been closed since the day after the outbreak of violence in mid-April. Cross-border flows are therefore at a standstill. Three of the four Chadian provinces bordering Sudan (Ouaddaï, Wadi Fira, and Sila) are home to large numbers of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees fleeing the ongoing violence on Sudanese territory. As of 19 October 2023, more than 519,570 people had returned, including 77,320 Chadian returnees. According to the administrative authorities as well as humanitarian actors from the two provinces (Ouaddaï and Sila), more than 1,000 daily arrivals were recorded up to the beginning of September. These returnees from Sudan are joining the transit sites where they are staying, while others are joining host households according to their social ties. As of the end of September 2023, over 6,500 refugees and returnees in the Tissi locality in the southern part of Sila were unreachable due to the flooding of roads by wadi waters. This hindrance in movement prevented humanitarian actors from accessing the area and providing food aid, as reported by the WFP sub-office in Goz-Beida (Sila Province). In addition, humanitarian actors have so far relocated 176,861 refugees and returnees to various camps. Other relocations are underway from transit sites.

    Agricultural situation: Irregular and erratic rainfall, accompanied by one or more dry spells, has wilted and damaged crops in Hadjer Adjid, Farchana, and Adré. The total rainfall recorded during the season was below-average?. These seasonal disturbances have led to the appearance of crop pests, including armyworms in Koukou and Goz-Beida in the Sila province. According to local agricultural officials, large areas of cereal and legume crops have been devastated. A decrease in agricultural land compared with last year and the five-year average has been observed in Sila, due to refugees settling on agricultural plots. According to the Agence Nationale d'Appui au Développement Rural (ANADER), area losses ranging from 10 to 32 percent have been reported for cereal and pulse crops in the two provinces due to refugees settling on agricultural plots, low total rainfall, and long dry spells. Losses in areas planted with legumes are greater in Sila (42 percent) than in Ouaddaï (3 percent). 

    Pastoral situation: The low-average rainfall and long dry spells recorded during the season have caused an atypical degradation of pastoral resources in the provinces of Ouaddaï and Sila. Pastures are almost non-existent, while semi-temporary ponds have completely dried up on the main transhumance routes from Ouaddaï to Sila. In the department of Assongha, many herds of pastoralists are on the move towards the south of Sila. The pastoral overload in the provinces of Ouaddaï and Sila is caused by the massive influx of pastoralists from the transhumance zone and herds belonging to Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees. In general, the animal health situation remains stable. The provincial delegation of Sila, which has a reserve of around 70,000 doses of vaccine, is planning vaccination coverage against peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP).

    Livestock markets:  Supplies to the Adré livestock markets in the department of Assongha (Ouaddaï province) are mainly reduced by the poor pastoral situation, which is forcing a massive departure of pastoralists to the south. This is further exacerbated by inter-community disputes, which have led some pastoralists to avoid some markets due to the unstable security situation at the Chad-Sudan borders. A near-normal supply is observed for winter season livestock markets, but supply tends to decrease in most localities in the reception area due to the early departure of pastoralists and their herds for transhumance. Supply is slightly below average in Goz-Beida (Sila province), where pastoralists moving to the south of the province transit through the northern part of the town. Prices for small ruminants are rising due to strong local demand, supported in part by the presence of humanitarian actors buying animals for their own consumption. 

    Household cereal stocks:  The stocks of very poor and poor host households, in the process of being replenished, are significantly below average due to low rainfall and harvest levels. 

    Food markets: With flows from Sudan halted, market supplies of food products are essentially supplemented by internal flows from N'Djamena and Libya for manufactured and imported goods. Despite these alternative flows, the volume remains much lower than in a normal year due to high transport costs and insecurity at the Chad-Libya borders. Local merchant stocks are at significantly low levels, well below a normal year, despite ongoing harvests. Cereal supply is falling significantly due to low harvest levels and transport costs caused by rising fuel prices. Atypical increases, compared with the five-year average of prices and the same period last year, are observed in the various food markets, in particular in Adré, Farchana, Goz-Beida, Hadjer Hadid, and Kerfi. These price levels are due to the high demand generated by the presence of people working in humanitarian organizations, the massive influx of Sudanese refugees, and Chadian returnees.

    Food sources: Food supplies for refugees and returnees come mainly from products distributed by humanitarian aid, begging, the solidarity of host households and wealthy individuals, and for a minority, from market purchases. Host households feed themselves with meagre agricultural produce from their own production, as well as modest volumes of purchases from markets, especially those that have lost most of their harvestable area. 

    Sources of income: An erosion of income is observed due to the oversupply of labor induced by the massive influx of refugees and returnees. Continuous influxes create competition for available resources (faggots, raw materials for handicrafts) and existing opportunities (e.g., masonry, brick manufacturing and sales, and handling). For example, daily wages for agricultural laborers in the Assongha department have fallen by more than 40 percent compared with a normal year. In addition, income-generating activities such as water sales and handling represent opportunities in urban centers and around marketplaces. Demand for drinking water is on the rise, with costs rising from 750 CFA francs to 2,000 CFA francs for a 300-liter container. Many refugees turn to collecting firewood and begging in marketplaces and in front of native homes.

    Nutrition: The already worrying nutritional situation in the provinces of Ouaddaï and Sila is exacerbated by the massive influx of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees. During the period from June to August 2023, new admissions of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) increased by more than 61 percent in Ouaddai and by 15 percent in Sila.

    Humanitarian assistance: Since the beginning of the Sudan crisis in April 2023, humanitarian action has been deployed in the reception area to provide assistance to Sudanese refugees, Chadian returnees, and host households. As of 19 October 2023, approximately 440,000 people had received food in full ration, including refugees (334,881), returnees (38,660), and local household members (16,738). The food basket for food distributions consists of sorghum (425g/person/day), legumes (100g/person/day), and oil (35g/person/day). Nearly 180,000 people also benefited from hot meals at the relocation sites. The analysis of food aid coverage could not be completed as the details of these data are not available, including the monthly number of beneficiaries, the quantity distributed per household, and the frequency of distributions.

    Assumptions

    The most likely food security scenario from October 2023 to May 2024 is based on the following fundamental assumptions, in addition to national assumptions:

    • Off-season agricultural production: Off-season production will decline due to high prices of fuel for irrigation and the inability to access inputs including fertilizers due to the loss of household purchasing power. Settling refugees on agricultural land would limit growing areas during the off-season. 
    • Pastoral situation: An early pastoral lean season will be observed around the end of January rather than the typical March to April, due to pasture deficits and lack of water for watering. From December 2023 to January 2024, there will be a significant deterioration in the animals' body condition. The availability of milk and milk products will be below normal throughout the analysis period.

    • Livestock markets: Supply in livestock markets will remain below average in Adré and in several localities of Assongha due to poor pastoral conditions. An oversupply will be observed in Goz Beida (Sila province) due to the concentration of livestock in search of pasture, following the relatively better pastoral conditions.   

    • Food markets: The supply of food products to local markets will be decline slightly compared to a normal year, particularly in Ouaddaï. Faced with pressure from low household stocks, market demand will be higher than in a normal year and will be compounded by the presence and successive influxes of Sudanese refugees and Chadian returnees. Household cereal stocks are expected to run out from the end of January 2024, leading to a significant increase in demand. Market prices for food products should remain significantly higher than the five-year average and last year throughout the analysis period. 

    • Sources of income: A general erosion of incomes is expected throughout the analysis period, due to competition between households (hosts, the very poor and poor, refugees, and returnees) for employment opportunities (e.g., domestic work, marketplace labor, and masonry). Income from the sale of agricultural products and small ruminants is expected to fall significantly compared with a normal year, due to low agricultural production and the cessation of exports to Sudan. Insecurity, coupled with the regular influx of artisans to the Tibesti gold-panning sites and the Sudan crisis, will continue to limit income from migration to levels well below a normal year.

    • Food sources:
      • Host households' own production: The contribution of own production to household food supplies will be very small and only partially cover the needs of host households during the first scenario period. The low volumes of stocks would only cover the first three months and would run out towards the end of January 2024 instead of the typical June to July. Social solidarity practices such as sharing meals with refugees would further reduce household stock levels. Early exhaustion will be observed from January 2024, forcing households to rely on markets and other strategies to supplement their diet.

      • Payment in kind: The volumes of agricultural products received from payments in kind would be much lower than in a normal year because of the poor harvests recorded during the rainy season.

      • Market purchases: Purchase volumes would be very limited due to the low levels of income of host households, whose main sources of income have been severely eroded by the Sudan crisis exacerbating local conditions (low production and low levels of income from crop sales). 

      • Assistance products: Given the difficulties of mobilizing assistance and the ever-increasing numbers of refugees and returnees, the volumes of food distributed would be very limited and would not cover the food needs of refugees, returnees, and host households.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    From October 2023 to January 2024: Many very poor and poor host households are expected to have consumption deficits due to low harvest volumes following rainfall disturbances during the season and the reduction in developed areas. The low volume of purchases on the markets could not compensate for the large discrepancies in food availability. However, the improved availability of food from new harvests and the reduction in certain childhood waterborne diseases during this period could contribute to a slight reduction in these high levels of acute malnutrition. Refugees and returnees are more likely to engage in new practices in the area, such as mass begging. Intense begging for food by children, women, and men will be observed. Faced with the erosion of the main sources of income due to pressure on available resources and competition for opportunities, most incomes would be in atypical decline, lower than a normal year. They are facing consumption deficits and will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with some households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity. The need for food aid will increase with the arrival of refugees and returnees; without such assistance, their food situation could gradually worsen. 

    From February to May 2024:Food consumption is expected to continue to deteriorate in most localities. Following the depletion of stocks at the end of January 2024, atypical rising price trends compared with the five-year average will limit household access to food. Low incomes due to the erosion of the main sources could lead refugees and returnees, as well as very poor and poor host households, to sell their personal property and intensify the sale of livestock in order to access markets. Ultimately, revenues from most sources will be marginal. Refugee, host, and returnee households will suffer financial precariousness forcing them to develop crisis adaptation strategies. From February 2024 onwards, the resurgence of acute respiratory infections, the gradual depletion of local resources, and already fragile basic social services under pressure from refugees could lead to a gradual deterioration in the nutritional situation, which could exceed the levels observed during the lean season in April/May 2024. Despite the intensification of crisis strategies households will face consumption deficits and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The number of households in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) acute food insecurity could also increase during the second scenario period.

    Agropastoral and fishing livelihood zone (TD08) of the Lac Province (Figure 3)

    Current Situation

    Figure 3

    Agropastoral and fishing livelihood zone (TD08), Lac Province
    Zone de moyen d’existence agropastorale et pêche (TD08), Province du Lac

    Source: FEWS NET

    • Security context: A drop in security incidents has been reported in Lac, reflecting a relative lull. Despite the attacks recorded in August 2023, a 13 percent drop in displacements was reported compared to the same period last year (IOM). 

    • Agricultural situation: The current agricultural season is marked by low levels of rainfall, leading to a drop in production compared with the average. Rainfall has remained below-average, decreasing by  41.2 percent. A long dry spell of 21 successive days between August and early September led to crop wilting because of water stress. 

      •  Re-seeding was carried out following the resumption of rains in mid-September 2023. In the department of Bagasola, maize and millet seeded areas recorded reductions of 22.78 percent and 31.54 percent, respectively, due to low rainfall (SODELAC, August 2023). 

      • Some attacks by crop pests (grain-eating birds and locusts) were also reported.

    • Sources of income: Most incomes of host and IDP households are declining due to the scarcity of agricultural labor opportunities because of oversupply and reductions in acreage due to poor rainfall. The strong pressure exerted on wild products and the competition to gather faggots and wild products used as raw materials for handicrafts are reducing the quantities of these products sold on the markets. 

    • Food markets: In Bol and Bagasola, cereal supply is lower than in a normal year due to lower rainfed crop production. Following low stock levels compounded by the cessation of humanitarian assistance since April 2023, intense demand pressure induced by strong market dependence is being observed. Additional demand from the two neighbouring Western Sahel provinces (BEG and Kanem) is further boosting maize prices. In Bol, the price of maize is 15 and 49 percent higher than last year and the five-year average, respectively, while the price of millet is down from last year, but still very high compared with the five-year average (Figure 4).

    Figure 4

    Change in cereal prices on the Bol market
    Variation des prix des céréales sur le marché de Bol

    Source: FEWS NET

    • Food sources: Given the low crop production, the contributions of  own agricultural products to the consumption of most displaced and host households are well below the levels of a normal year. The volumes of payments in kind to the displaced are marginal, or even zero. Dependent mainly on markets, access is limited by low levels of income in the face of atypically high prices compared to a normal year; households can only buy very limited volumes.

    • Pastoral situation: An early return to the island localities has been observed since early September 2023 due to the low availability of pasture on dry land. A concentration of livestock in the south of the province is also observed. This has led to competition between pastoralists for access to, and control of, grazing areas, and has led to poor animal body condition due to poor food access. Animal supplementation made available by humanitarian actors is lacking, due to a lack of funding for assistance. The technical services have observed a surge in epizootics, citing cases of pasteurellosis and trypanosomiasis. 

    • Livestock markets:A slight relative drop in the supply of livestock is observed due to the early and massive return of pastoralists to the island areas. However, the level of supply remains higher than in a normal year due to the slowdown in exports to Nigeria via Niger, compounded by the depreciation of the Nigerian naira and security constraints on export routes limiting export volumes. A decrease in the supply of small ruminants, caused by the departure of pastoralists to island areas and to localities in the south of the province, led to a moderate price increase compared with the five-year average for sheep (26 percent) and goats (30 percent) in Bol (Figure 5). 

    Figure 5

    Sheep price projections on the Bol market
    Projections des prix du mouton sur le marché de Bol

    Source: FEWS NET

    • Cereal/livestock terms of trade in Bol: The low volume of pastures has affected the body condition of livestock, leading to a decrease in their market value. In view of rising food prices and low income from the sale of livestock, pastoralists are facing unfavorable terms of trade for cereal/livestock, as illustrated by the Bol market. 

    • Nutritional situation: Nutritional data show an atypical rise in admissions of malnourished children from June to August 2023, with a peak in August. This upward trend is correlated with an increase in the incidence of childhood illnesses (e.g., respiratory illnesses, malaria, diarrhea), infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices that are unable to meet all needs, and the effects of the lean season that reduce household food consumption. According to the annual planning of the province of Lac, new admissions as of September 2023 amount to 20,530 cases.

    • Humanitarian assistance: The cessation of assistance since March 2023 is due to the decline in resources provided? by the WFP. As a result, some households have migrated to island localities in search of food resources, despite government restrictions and volatile security conditions in these areas. 

    Assumptions

    The most likely food security scenario from October 2023 to May 2024 is based on the following fundamental assumptions, in addition to national assumptions:

    • Incursions by members of ISWAP are expected to persist at least until May 2024, but will remain at levels below those observed in 2022, and well below the trends observed over the previous five years.
    • Overall agricultural production is expected to be below the five-year average due to low levels of rainfed crop production and fuel-related difficulties during the off-season.
    • Income is expected to fall overall, particularly from agricultural labor. Confronted with an excess of supply, daily wages are expected to be exceptionally low compared to a typical year. Pressure on harvested products and faggots, as well as the oversupply of handicrafts, will generate lower revenues than in a normal year.
    • Throughout the scenario period, cereal markets are expected to post prices above the five-year average due to low production levels, which would result in sustained market pressure. High transport costs and the security context will continue to reinforce the upward trend in food market prices due to low volumes of internal flows. These prices would be higher from March and April 2023 following the depletion of stocks and cereal demand, particularly for millet during the Ramadan period.

    Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

    From October 2023 to January 2024: Given the pressure of displaced persons on the low volumes of cereal stocks from the rainy season and the low volumes of fish catches due to seasonality, displaced persons and host households are expected to face food consumption deficits despite the crisis strategies developed. Their food access will be greatly reduced due to high market price levels; they are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). The demand for food aid is on the rise due to a decline in production. However, inadequate funding has compelled humanitarian organizations to halt these operations since March 2023.

    From February to May 2024: The total depletion of stocks from the end of January 2024 is expected to limit food access for displaced persons and host households, who will depend mainly on markets. Nevertheless, their ability to procure goods on the markets will be restricted due to elevated prices and low levels of income. Most households will develop crisis adaptation strategies (reducing spending on education and health)  to obtain income but will not be able to meet their consumption needs. The nutritional status of children under five and pregnant and breastfeeding women will continue to deteriorate due to low dietary intakes, coupled with the prevalence of pathologies (e.g., acute respiratory infections and malaria). Despite the intensified adaptation strategies and given the above adverse factors, acute food insecurity Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will persist. 

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Chad Food Security Outlook October 2023 - May 2024: Below-average agricultural production and pressure on livelihoods worsen food security in Lac Province and the East of the country, 2023.

    To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more here.

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