March 14, 2008
—Despite the peace deal signed between Chad and Sudan on March 13, World Vision’s program director in Chad is reporting that the situation is still tense in the capital and that people are worried another attack will happen before the rainy season begins in July.
Rene van der Meijden is responsible for World Vision’s operations and implementation of development projects in Chad, and notes that while schools have re-opened and life is slowly returning to normal after the rebel attack last month, there is still a climate of fear and uncertainty in N'Djamena. “People are pessimistic that this pact will truly bring peace because the rebels are not part of the signatories,” van der Meijden says.
Since Chad’s state of emergency is still in place, people are restricted from meeting in large groups and most retreat to their own homes because of the curfew. People who have the means to do so, have moved their families out of the capital due to fears of another attack. Others are building safe houses.
“As for our operations, we have re-opened our national office in N'Djamena but the office is operating on shorter working hours,” van der Meijden says. “We also have restrictions on large community meetings, which has had some impact on our operations. Our projects, which are in the countryside, have not been hugely affected.”
Meanwhile, in South Darfur, the World Food Program has asked World Vision—its largest implementing partner in Darfur and around the world—to reduce food rations from the planned 18.30 kilograms per person to 15.64 kilograms. This comes on the heels of the WFP reporting this week that relief operations are facing challenges following attacks on trucks delivering food. According to the WFP, a surge of bandit attacks has forced it to reduce by half delivery of emergency food in the war torn region. World Vision has worked in Darfur since 2003.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.