A landlocked Sahelian country in central Africa, Chad is grappling with security challenges associated with conflicts in bordering countries as well as the impacts of climate change, in particular accelerated desertification and the drying up of Lake Chad.
With more than 450,000 refugees from Sudan, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria, Chad continues to deal with the consequences of tensions in neighboring countries.
Although Chad had made progress on poverty reduction, with a decline in the national poverty rate from 55% to 47% between 2003 and 2011, the number of poor increased from 4.7 million in 2011 to approximately 6.5 million in 2019. In 2018, 42% of the population was living below the national poverty line.
Chad’s score on the World Bank’s Human Capital Index is 0.30. This means that a child born today will be 70% less productive in adulthood than a child who received a quality education and benefited from appropriate health services. Moreover, 20% of Chadian children will not make it to their fifth birthday, and 40% of children suffer from stunting, which can have long-term implications for their cognitive development. Between the ages of 4 and 18, on average, children in Chad spend no more than five years in school.
With 856 deaths for every 100,000 live births, Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates, a phenomenon aggravated by the high number of early pregnancies (164.5 births per 1,000 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19).
After President Idriss Déby was killed on the front line on April 20, 2021, a transitional military council, led by his son Mahamat Déby, assumed power. The country’s constitution was suspended, and an 18-month transition period (April 2021 to September 2022) was put in place. The Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue, which was held from August 20 to October 12, 2022, concluded with the decision to extend the political transition by two years. Sworn in as president of the transition on October 10, General Mahamat Deby Itno formed a government of national unity on October 14. On October 20, the opposition protested against the decision to extend the transition period and allow the transition president to stand as a candidate in elections. As many as 60 persons were killed in violent protests when government forces opened fire on demonstrators. On November 11, Chad avoided African Union sanctions, contrary to the recommendations denouncing the Chadian authorities and the extension of the transition period.
- Once an agrarian economy, Chad joined the ranks of oil-producing countries in 2003 and since then its economy has been heavily dependent on oil.
- After contracting by 1.2% (4.1% per capita GDP) in 2021, the economy is expected to recover in 2022, with GDP growing by 3.1% (0.1% per capita GDP), driven by high oil prices as a result of the war in Ukraine.
- Inflation is projected to increase from 1.0% in 2021 to 5.3% in 2022, owing to high global food and energy prices. Food inflation is expected to rise to 13% in 2022 as a result of the combined effects of high global food prices and weak domestic agricultural production. Chad officially declared a “food and nutrition emergency” on June 1, 2022.
- In January 2021, Chad requested a debt restructuring, in light of its increasing debt service to revenue ratio that led to external debt distress.
- The economy is expected to recover gradually and grow by an average 3.3% in 2023-24 (0.4% of per capita GDP), driven by favorable oil prices and assuming ongoing global recovery in international trade and increased government investment. Inflation is projected to decline slightly to 4.8% and 3.8% respectively in 2023 and 2024.
- This outlook is subject to significant uncertainty and multiple risks, including dampening oil prices; political instability in the context of a protracted political transition; heightened security risks; new climate-related shocks; persistent food security challenges and related social discontent.
Last Updated: Mar 06, 2023