IOM, Kingdom of the Netherlands to Support Community Stabilization in Lake Chad Basin

The new project will specifically target women to increase their livelihoods and enhance their protection against risks of gender-based violence. Photo Credit : IOM/Andrea Ruffini 2021 

N’Djamena – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands have signed a new USD 2 million project to enhance community stabilization in the wider Lake Chad Basin.

The new project will focus on improving community infrastructure, provide enhanced access to community-based livelihoods, strengthen rights-based governance, and increase access to mental health and psychosocial support services in Chad’s Kanem and Barh el-Ghazel provinces. An estimated 50,000 individuals, across 20 communities, are expected to benefit from the project’s interventions.

“This project aims at supporting communities in the Sahel through increased access to socio-economic infrastructure and economic activities specifically focused on women and youth”, said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad, “We are particularly conscious of the need to increase opportunities for rural communities and female headed households to diversify their income and become more resilient also in the face of climate insecurities”.

Mostly rural, Chad’s central Sahel region composed of the provinces north of the Lake Chad basin, including Kanem and Barh el Gazel, is characterized by several layers of vulnerability.

The limited availability of livelihood opportunities due to absence of economic opportunity or access to markets, the negative effects of climate change, and the disruption of seasonal market and farming cycles have pushed local communities into vulnerability.

In this context, gender inequalities and gender-based violence often perpetuated by complex structural processes which disfavour female-headed households, women and girls from gaining access, pose a real challenge as women and girls.

The new project will provide vulnerable groups across 20 communities in the Kanem and Barh el-Ghazel provinces with stabilization grants to realize priority community projects including the rehabilitation of basic socioeconomic infrastructures such as health centres and schools.

The project will also support women- and youth-focused upskilling through technical and vocational training in highly sought-after skills such as carpentry, mechanics, electrical and solar power maintenance. Start-up kits will be provided to local cooperatives to boost entrepreneurship, self-employment, and community resilience.

With a special focus on increasing women’s self-reliance and participation in decision-making processes, the project aims at supporting women by offering training in community gardening and household management and providing support to setting up cooperatives.

The project will also seek to enhance communities’ access to mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) through community-based assistance and partnership with local actors such as the Chadian Red Cross to provide counselling and referral. Given the cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the region, the project will accord specific assistance to victims of GBV, train local health staff on GBV and protection-related issues, while also undertaking a public awareness campaign on GBV in the region in coordination with Chadian authorities.

“The Kingdom of the Netherlands is pleased to support this project which responds to communities’ needs in terms of access to basic services and livelihood opportunities, setting the ground for longer term development”, said Mark Rutgers van der Loeff, Head of Office, Netherlands Diplomatic Bureau in N'Djamena.

In Chad, IOM’s Community Stabilization initiatives support rural community development and resilience to socioeconomic and climate shocks.

Since 2019, 76 community infrastructures such as water towers, boreholes, primary schools, and health centres have been built or rehabilitated across the country to increase access to basic services for over 200 000 persons across the country. Through the Organization’s flagship Technical and Vocational Training Programme, more than 200 youths have been equipped with technical skills and toolkits to set-up small businesses towards self-reliance.

For more information, please contact Francois-Xavier ADA AFFANA, IOM Chad’s Communication Officer. Email:

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