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Chad Country Report

Country Risk Level

High

Overview

Executive Summary

The government is unlikely to have eradicated Boko Haram militants from its territory, as claimed by President Déby although he acknowledged in August 2020 that jihadists would continue to destabilise the wider Lake Chad area. Chad in April launched a counter-terrorism operation following an attack that killed 98 Chadian soldiers in the area. Military forces are likely to be diverted to shielding the population from the COVID-19 disease, reducing their capacity to defend the country from Islamic State jihadists in the west and Libya-based insurgents in the north. France, however, is likely to assist militarily if President Déby's position comes under serious threat. President Déby is unlikely to be politically at risk from opposition parties, which remain weak and divided. The ruling MPS continues to dominate parliament and legislative elections set for December 2020 have again been postponed. They are unlikely to take place until after the presidential poll due in April 2021, which will likely result in the re-election of President Déby. Fiscal consolidation will keep domestic demand subdued in 2020 and the government will continue with tight fiscal policy in the near term. Progress with structural reforms – notably, more-efficient public financial management, budget execution, and diversification efforts – will be crucial to improve the country's economic prospects, and serve as a key signpost for Chad’s economy.Maturing oil production, alongside structural constraints and persistent domestic unrest, poses major downside risks to Chad’s medium- and long-term economic prospects. Non-oil real GDP growth will not average more than 2.5–3.5% in the coming five years or longer. Such growth is unlikely to offset the expected decline in oil-sector output as existing fields mature and given the lack of new discoveries.

Operational Outlook

The COVID-19 outbreak, insurgencies in the west and north, and inter-communal violence in the east destabilise the operational environment, which is already hampered by skilled labour shortages, strike action, and the president's tightening control. Corruption pervades public affairs and business. Infrastructure improvements have stalled because of funding shortages partly caused by falling oil prices and increased defence expenditure. Most imports come from Douala seaport in Cameroon, often taking weeks to arrive.

Terrorism

Chad's counter-terrorism strength was undermined by a Boko Haram attack in the Lake Chad area in March 2020, which killed 98 Chadian soldiers, prompting a military response, following which the government claimed that jihadists had been eradicated from Chad. In August, President Déby acknowledged that the region still faced threats from Boko Haram militants based in neighbouring countries. The armed forces are struggling to contain insurgencies in northern Chad and, if stretched, are likely to reduce commitments to regional counter-terrorism operations. French troops based in N’Djamena are likely to assist militarily, mitigating risks to Déby.

Crime

Crimes targeting expatriates in urban areas are not common and largely limited to petty theft, especially in downtown parts of the capital, N'Djamena, such as the Grand Marché and around the main mosque. Incidents of armed robbery occur in popular districts to the east and south of the city, while carjackings are likely on roads outside N'Djamena and Abéché, as well as in the north. Banditry is common particularly around border areas with Sudan, Libya, and Central African Republic.

War Risks

Chad's counter-terrorism co-operation with its neighbours reduces interstate war risks. Chadian troops are likely to pursue insurgents into Libya to counter Libya-based insurgencies in northern Chad. Chadian insurgents are more likely to provoke civil conflict than popular uprisings, and French troops would likely intervene to thwart civil war attempts.

Social Stability

High

President Déby is likely to impose increasingly authoritarian rule because of the COVID-19 pandemic, consolidating greater powers acquired under the April 2018 constitution. Government opponents are likely to be arrested arbitrarily or jailed without charge. Plummeting oil prices are likely to affect the economy, with austerity measures and salary arrears increasing the risk of strikes and protests beyond the three-month outlook. Peaceful protests against the French military presence by the civil-society organisation, Mouvement de 12 Revendications, which claims Chad is still not truly independent, are likely in N’Djamena.

Health Risk

Vaccines Required to Enter the Country

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease; it should be taken ten days in advance to be fully effective.

Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.

Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers

Cholera: A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora) has just been made available and may be prescribed for adults traveling to areas with active cholera transmission. The vaccine prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. As the vaccine is not fully effective, hygienic precautions should also be taken (e.g. drinking only bottled water, eating only thoroughly cooked foods, washing hands regularly, etc.).

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Meningococcal meningitis: There are several types of meningococcal vaccines. None offer full immunity and some require periodic booster shots. Consult your doctor to determine which is best for you depending on medical history and travel plans.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is generally recommended for travelers to the areas south of the Sahara Desert.

Natural Risks

Flooding is common in many areas of the country, particularly in the south and the east, during the rainy season (July to October).

Transportation

High

Despite development efforts, the country suffers from inadequate and degraded road infrastructure - except in N'Djamena where roads are paved. During the rainy season (July to October), roads are generally unreliable, especially in the south.

In N'Djamena and throughout the country, it is advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up due to the carjacking risk.

Minimize travel by foot in the capital.

Security checkpoints are common, particularly around sensitive sites (e.g. the airport). Stop at all roadblocks erected by security forces and comply with demands. Note that vehicles with tinted windows are prohibited.

For all travel outside the capital, an authorization from the Ministry of the Interior is necessary. Furthermore, long-distance road travel can be extremely dangerous. Armed highway bandits are active and often violent. Deadly road accidents are common, in part due to the non-observance of traffic laws by other drivers, lack of public lighting, poorly-maintained vehicles, and the lack of medical care facilities. All night travel should be avoided. Furthermore, accidents, particularly fatal ones, can incite a violent reaction from locals.

Outside major cities, travel should be conducted with an all-terrain vehicle (4x4), preferably within a convoy, with adequate supplies of water, food, fuel, spare mechanic parts (tires, cables, etc.), and effective means of communication. Fuel is easy to come by in major cities but difficult elsewhere.

The north of the country in particular lacks decent road infrastructure, with some notable exceptions (e.g. the road linking the Libyan border with Ounianga Kebir and Faya-Largeau and the road linking N'Djamena with Faya-Largeau, Faya, and Abeche). Furthermore, minefields may be present in areas along the border with Libya. Finally, as noted above, the region is difficult to secure due to prevalent illegal trafficking in the area and regular jihadists incursions.

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is arid in the north of the country, Sahelian in the center, and tropical in the south. In the north days are very hot and nights are cool and the area receives very little rainfall. In the center of the country, the rainy season lasts from March until October. In the south, the rainy season lasts from May until late September. During the dry season (December-April) temperatures are very high (particularly between mid-February and April); the air is dried out by the Harmattan, a hot and dry trade wind from the Sahara that passes over the country from north to south.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +235

There are no emergency services in the country.

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Risk Level
Critical High Medium Low Minimal