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Community Resilience to Acute Malnutrition, Chad

The CRAM programme design draws on the analysis that food insecurity and malnutrition arise from a dynamic interplay of different factors that cannot be addressed in isolation.
Gill Shepherd

Introduction

Since 2012, Concern has been working with communities in the Sila Region of eastern Chad to build their resilience to malnutrition. Acute and chronic malnutrition are prevalent in Sila, as they are for much of Chad, and the population is highly vulnerable to food insecurity arising from climatic shocks.

The CRAM (Community Resilience to Acute Malnutrition) programme was developed by Concern following five years of emergency food projects, and its design draws on our analysis that food insecurity and malnutrition arise from a dynamic interplay of different factors that cannot be addressed in isolation.

Methods and Tools

The CRAM programme delivers an integrated set of interventions across multiple sectors to 35 villages. These include promoting improved agricultural practices, such as climate-smart cropping and better animal husbandry, helping community members diversify their livelihood options, promoting improved hygiene and access to clean water, supporting female empowerment and improving access to maternal and child health services. Under CRAM, Concern is also working with communities to conduct risk analyses and establish community-level disaster risk reduction institutions to develop early-warning systems, and to implement preparedness plans in communities.

Outcomes and Impacts

A mid-term study of the project recently conducted by Tufts University gives an early indication of some of the project’s impacts. These include a reduction of acute malnutrition in children in smaller project villages, bringing rates down by more than 5%. The project has also led to a reduction in food insecurity during the hunger gap. The CRAM programme is nearing its completion in 2016, but the project will continue and extend its reach to cover approximately 90 villages, including among communities in western Sudan, as part of the DFID-funded BRACED programme.

The full report, expected in mid-2016, will be published here. In the meantime you can keep up-to-date with Concern’s work in Chad here.

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