Get money, get aid.

In London on December 1st?

Time for some shameless self promotion!

One of us will be launching a briefing at SOAS (Russel Square). Also speaking will be Hannah Roberson, a researcher at Action Against Hunger and Dr. Laura Hammond, author of This Place Will Become Home. Refugee Repatriation to Ethiopia.

We’d love to meet any Arrested Development readers (yes, all four of you) that might be in London. We’ll have free wine and copies of the briefing.

Official Flyer below:

CHAD:A Call to end decades of hunger
Wednesday 1st December6pm
Room 116
SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H0XG


Dr. Laura Hammond, Senior Lecturer (SOAS)
Samuel Haunstein Swan, Senior Policy Advisor (Action Against Hunger)
Alex Merkovic-Orenstein, Policy Mapping Officer (Action Against Hunger)
Hannah Roberson, Policy Researcher  (Action Against Hunger)
Chair: TBC

Event description:

Action Against Hunger and the Royal African Society invite you to the launch of Action Against Hunger’s report on the food crisis in Chad followed by a panel discussion.

The food crisis in the Western Sahel has reached catastrophic proportions. Yet what is most appalling is that this crisis has been allowed to continue for decades. Drought, policy failure and volatile food markets have created deep structural problems that could have been prevented and still can be tackled with appropriate interventions. Unfortunately, aid efforts have remained focused on short-term solutions. The recent scale-up of aid in the region provides the possibility of making deep, durable changes. Will international and government actors seize this opportunity to reverse the disastrous trends of the past?
Join Laura Hammond, Samuel Hauenstein-Swan, Alex Merkovic-Orenstein and Hannah Roberson to launch, discuss and debate the food crisis in Chad.
Please RSVP for all RAS events at

Facebook event

Royal Africa Society


3 responses

  1. Lee

    Any talk of migration policy? Chad is a prime candidate for one of Lant Pritchett’s “zombie” countries. No Chadians would go hungry if we let them move to Europe.

    November 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    • Alex Merkovic-Orenstein

      Thanks, Lee.

      We’ll be briefly discussing migration. It’s discussed in the briefing, more so in the full report (both of which will be available soon).

      As for whether Chad could be one of Pritchett’s “zombie countries”, it’s difficult to say. Chad is already experiencing a rural exodus. Seasonal migration has historically been a staple of local life in most rural parts of the country, but the current scale of migration has created some disruptions. Some of the villages we surveyed in the west had up to a quarter of their male household heads working in Libya or Saudi Arabia and up to 3/4 outside of the province. Few villages we came across had more than 40% of their male household heads remaining. In spite of the exodus, these communities were still very food insecure.

      The result was that families had access to remittances, but the massive labour shortage contributed to a chronic decline in agricultural productivity. Given more lucrative opportunities elsewhere, migrants often don’t return for the planting or harvest seasons. This feeds into what is already a vicious cycle of food insecurity.

      For most in Western Chad, labour migration seems to be a desperate coping strategy rather than an investment. That said, it’s clear that those who could afford to go abroad (particularly to Saudi Arabia) were able to reap greater benefits (larger and more regular remittances, etc) than those who stayed within the country.

      Migration isn’t much of a magic bullet in this case. I think facilitating migration (particularly lowering the cost of remittances) could benefit a lot of households. But the effects would not be positive across the board. Agricultural production would probably continue to decline (at least in the west, which is dominated by small holder family farms) with increased migration.

      November 23, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  2. Lee

    I think you make my point for me quite well. Imagine if *everyone* in Chad was able to leave for Europe, forget about remittances. That probably would be a magic bullet for food security. Not many Europeans starve to death.

    November 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s