Following France’s departure from the country in 1960, Chad endured over three decades of civil war and resistance from rebel and insurgent groups. In addition to the ongoing violence, 200,000 Sudanese refugees are living in eastern Chad — straining the already limited agricultural resources of the country.
In June 2005, IRD launched the Emergency Food-for-Work and Agricultural Assistance Initiative for Affected Villages in Eastern Chad program. This program provides emergency food security and agriculture improvement opportunities for villages in eastern Chad affected by the influx of Darfur refugees. The program is funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) in conjunction with the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP), which provided 1,000 metric tons of food.
Using a community-based approach, IRD mobilized communities in villages affected by drought and refugee flows to undertake agricultural improvement projects primarily targeting local wadis (riverbed watersheds). Projects include the construction and rehabilitation of barrages, hafirs (water catchment basins) and wells for potable water.
Villages provide the manual labor to restore these local irrigation systems and water wells, employing more than 12,000 beneficiaries. IRD also distributed food parcels as salary supplements in the targeted villages surrounding the Iriba District.
In addition, IRD distributed seeds from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and providing short-term technical assistance for improving planting, harvesting and processing techniques. IRD also provided basic agricultural kits (up to four varieties of seeds, planting tools and one wheel barrow) to the most vulnerable families. This project benefited approximately 80,000 people.
More recently, USAID's Peace through Development II (PDev II) program works directly with vulnerable young men and women to empower youth, promote moderate voices, and strengthen civil society and local government, directly benefiting 500,000 people in targeted communities in Niger, Chad, and Burkina Faso.
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Providing Food and Planting Seeds for the Future — IRD’s Food for Work and Blanket Supplementary Fee
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