A rapid nutritional assessment implemented last month by MSF teams in the Metché camp which shelters approximately 40,000 people showed that 7.1% of children under the age of two years were suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and that the overall prevalence of acute malnutrition in children under the age of five was 13.6%.
The survey MSF conducted between 7 August and 4 September indicated rates of 11.3% of global acute malnutrition in under five-year olds in the camp in Ourang and 11.6% in the camp in Arkoum, and severe acute malnutrition rates of 4.8% and 4.6% respectively. These percentages are well above the emergency thresholds established by the World Health Organisation. In concrete terms, this means that children who have survived the deprivation, unremitting attacks and extreme violence that have engulfed Darfur are now in alarmingly poor health.
“This is a serious nutritional situation that calls for considerably more nutrition and food aid,” says Mohammadou Gado, emergency coordinator in eastern Chad. “More financial, human and logistical resources must be allocated to emergency food aid so that the World Food Programme and its partners can continue to safely organise regular large-scale distributions including in 2024. They must ensure that the distributions reach families who are most at risk and that they’re adapted to the specific requirements of undernourished people, which means they must be enriched with vitamins and minerals," continues Mohammadou Gado.