Country Background

Since Chad’s independence in 1960, the country has been plagued by instability and violence. The country faces major threats to stability from Boko Haram and a large number of refugees from neighboring countries. Attacks by Boko Haram in Chad’s Lac Region have prompted displacement, exacerbating food insecurity and other humanitarian needs. In the Lake Chad region, UNICEF has warned that nearly half a million children face Severe Acute Malnutrition and that many will not receive help while they remain trapped in areas controlled by Boko Haram. Amidst these developing humanitarian crises, in April 2018, the Parliament approved a new constitution expanding the president’s powers.

What Nonprofits Need to Know

Below in the blue is an overview of the humanitarian and peacebuilding needs in Chad. In the red are the primary sanctioned groups presently operating there. Because U.S. law prohibits the provision of “material support” to listed terrorists individuals and groups as well as engaging in trade with sanctioned persons and entities, the presence of these groups and sanctions programs can impact the delivery of aid and peacebuilding programs. The list below is non-exhaustive and changes frequently, so it is important for nonprofits to check all partners and those with whom they engage in transactions against, at a minimum, the U.S. Specially Designated National (SDN) and the United Nations Security Council Consolidated lists. Below the charts is information on OFAC licenses, where applicable, and links to our research and advocacy, and other relevant information.  

Humanitarian &
Peacebuilding Needs

According to OCHA’s latest Humanitarian Needs Overview, more than 5.3 million people, or one person out of three, are in need of humanitarian assistance in Chad.

Displacement:  More than half of the 650,000 people displaced in Chad are women and girls, and the conflict around the Lake Chad region is forcing many more into displacement regularly. In addition, Chad hosts 450,000 refugees mainly from Sudan, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Nigeria.

Natural Hazards: Heavy floods in the southern and eastern provinces affect more than 175,000 people. Lake Chad, once one of Africa’s largest freshwater bodies and a source of livelihood for about 30 million, has diminished by 90% since the 1960s due to the effects of climate change and overuse.

Food Security and Nutrition: 3.7 million people face food insecurity and 2.2 million people suffer from malnutrition. For 350,000 children the nutritional situation, marking a 59 per cent increase from the previous year.

Disease and Healthcare: The health system remains weak, exposing the country to epidemics and diseases. The measles epidemic declared in May 2018 continues to spread. Malaria continues to represent a major concern.

Ongoing Hostilities: A resurgence of armed attacks and insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin has prompted thousands of civilians to seek refuge.


Boko Haram:  Formed in 2002, this group mainly operates in the Far North Region along Cameroon’s border with Nigeria. It was designated as a terrorist group by the United States and under the UN ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List. More information here.

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)-West AfricaFounded in 2002, this jihadist terrorist organization has been aligned with ISIS since 2015. It is based primarily in Northeast Nigeria along the border with Niger, with its largest presence in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. and by the United Nations Security Council’s 1267 al-Qa’ida and ISIL (Da’esh) Sanctions Committee. More information here.

Primary Terrorist Presence &
Other Sanctioned Groups

Access overview of UN ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions committee here. Access overview of the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List here.

“Chad, a host country and island of stability for refugees in a troubled subregion, needs all the renewed generosity of donors.”

Stephen Tull UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad, 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP)

Licenses offered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)

The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the U.S. Department of Treasury enforces sanctions programs. It has a licensing process that allows transactions with sanctioned entities, including listed terrorist groups, that would otherwise be unlawful. Nonprofits that operate in areas affected by sanctions often apply for licenses from OFAC so that they are able to provide services to civilians in conflict zones around the world without running afoul of U.S. sanctions law, engage in peacebuilding activities and more. Find more information here.

Policy Reform

The Charity & Security Network advocates for change in national security measures to better support nonprofits working around the world. In fragile contexts, counterterrorism measures often impede humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations from accessing finance for their programs and serving populations in need. Find out more on our key issues below:

  • Find more information on Material Support here.
  • Find more information on Financial Access here.

Useful Links

last updated: April 15, 2020