Grave concerns persist for some 20 million people in the Sahel. Recurrent conflict, erratic weather patterns, epidemics and other shocks continue to weaken the resilience of households across a region still suffering chronic levels of food insecurity and malnutrition.
An estimated 20.4 million people remain food insecure at the start of 2015. At least 2.6 million people have already crossed the crisis threshold, 70 percent of whom are in Niger, Nigeria, Mali and Chad where insecurity and poverty compound food insecurity.
Epidemics continue to demand urgent attention in 2015. Besides cholera, meningitis, Lassa and yellow fever, more recently, Ebola has been posing a serious threat to the Sahel region and has already impacted Mali, Nigeria, and Mali directly.
Beyond the chronic threats of food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics, violent conflict in and around the Sahel region has led to a surge in population displacement. The region begins 2015 with some 2.8 million people displaced; over a million more than in early 2014. With escalating conflict in northeast Nigeria, an estimated one million people have been internally displaced. Some 150,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. The volatile security situation in northern Mali continues to have a devastating impact on civilians, hampering the return of refugees, affecting markets and preventing the full restoration of basic services. Some 133,000 Malian refugees remain in Mauritania, Niger and Burkina Faso and more than 80,000 Malians remain internally displaced. As in Nigeria, high levels of insecurity in northern Mali also greatly impact the ability of humanitarians to access those in need. (Sahel: A call for humanitarian aid, 12 Feb 2015)
As of 14 August 2015, the Strategic Response Plan for the Sahel was 35% funded. (OCHA, 14 Aug 2015)
Appeals & Funding
- Sahel Strategic Response Plan (SRP) 2015 EN/FR
- Humanitarian Needs Overview EN/FR
- 2014-2016 Strategic Response Plans: Sahel Region EN/FR; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Gambia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal
Attacks perpetrated by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region have increased over recent weeks, and military presence in the area has also expanded in response. The number of people who have been forced to flee their homes has more than doubled, bringing the total number of displaced in the area to 75,000. The fear that has been instilled in the population – consisting of refugees from Niger and Nigeria, and Chadians themselves – has only been exacerbated by the continuing violence which shows no sign of abating.
Interview with Ahmad Samro, MSF's Project Manager in Niger
Nearly 28,000 people have recently taken refuge in the Diffa region in Niger after fleeing attacks by Boko Haram. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is expanding its medical activities and is taking measures to improve the health situation in the two newest settlements. Ahmad Samro, project manager for MSF, describes the situation in Diffa.
What are the living conditions like for those who have recently arrived in the Diffa region?
Tens of thousands of people in northern Cameroon are in need of humanitarian aid after fleeing attacks by Boko Haram in neighbouring Nigeria, says Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today. MSF teams are scaling up their assistance to the refugees and to local communities.
Since May 2013, violent insurgencies by Boko Haram have led to widespread displacement and an escalating humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region. According to UNHCR figures, nearly 1.4 million people have been internally displaced in north-east Nigeria alone, and approximately 170,000 people have fled to neighbouring Cameroon (56,000), Chad (14,000) and Niger (100,000). At least 1,300 people have died so far this year.
2014 was a year marked by growing insecurity in north Mali because of fighting between the army and rebel opposition groups. While the principal targets are military (MINUSMA, Barkhane and the Malian army), the last three months of the year saw a significant increase in the number of security incidents involving aid and other international organisations in the north of the country.
The already fragile condition of the population in Diffa has recently been aggravated by the escalation of the on-going armed conflict in southern Niger. The area bordering north Nigeria is facing new waves of displaced people and refugees escaping the violence raging around Lake Chad, especially since last February when the conflict spread to Niger. Living conditions are critical, with the displaced population having little access to healthcare and safe water.
Bassikounou/Nouakchott - The cancellation of monthly food rations in July for 49,500 Malian refugees in Mbera Camp is likely to cause a rise in global acute malnutrition levels, warns Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which provides medical care and malnutrition support in the camp. MSF calls on the international donor community to ensure that refugees in Mbera camp have reliable sources of food.
Due to the conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army and recurrent insurgency attacks on civilians living in Borno State, north-east Nigeria, thousands of people are regularly fleeing their homes in search of safety.
Entretien avec Aissami Abdou, coordinateur de projet pour MSF à Diffa, dans le sud-est du Niger, sur la situation des milliers de personnes qui ont fui le lac Tchad début mai.
Quelle est la situation actuelle des personnes qui ont fui le lac Tchad ?
MSF est l'une des rares organisations à venir en aide à cette population vulnérable
MSF provides assistance to Nigerian returnees fleeing Niger
Thousands of people who fled violence in Nigeria, have fled fighting on the islands of Lake Chad in Niger. Tens of thousands have arrived in towns next to Lake Chad in Niger while several thousands are returning to Borno state in their home country. Around 1200 refugees have returned so far to Nigeria, and a total of 4000 are expected. Most of them are women, elderly men and children. 25% of the returnees are under five years old.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber attacked a camp of the United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in the outskirts of Ansongo town, killing three civilians – two children and one adult – and wounding 16 people, most of them UN peacekeepers. A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team was immediately deployed to the area and referred five wounded children to the Ansongo referral hospital, where the organisation has been working since 2012.
As a result of the fighting between Boko Haram and the Nigerian Army at the end of March, around 6,000 people were forced to flee their homes. They arrived in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital. The authorities have opened a new camp, but there are currently no latrines, no water on site and insufficient shelter. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working since 2013 in the Borno State. Our team assessed the needs and initiates emergency activities in this camp.
Suite aux attaques menées par Boko Haram dans le nord-est du Nigeria, des milliers de personnes ont récemment franchi la frontière du Tchad en quête d’un lieu sûr. D’après les estimations officielles, ils sont quelques 18 000 réfugiés à vivre rassemblés dans des camps et au sein de la communauté dans la région du lac. Mais récemment, l’insécurité est également montée d’un cran au Tchad, où une attaque a été menée dans la ville de Ngouboua, à 25 kilomètres de la frontière avec le Nigeria, entraînant la fuite de milliers de résidents et de réfugiés.
As a result of attacks by Boko Haram in the northwest of Nigeria, thousands of people have recently fled across the border to neighbouring Chad, gathering in a refugee camp and within the community. Official estimates say that around 18,000 refugees have sought shelter in the Lake Chad region. Insecurity within Chad itself has also increased since an attack on the town of Ngouboua, 25 kilometres from the Nigerian border, causing thousands of refugees and residents to flee for safety.
Pendant un an, Seïdina Ousseini a été coordinateur du projet MSF situé à Ansongo, au nord du Mali. Il nous raconte les difficultés rencontrées par MSF pour apporter des soins médicaux à cette population victime de la crise politique et de l'insécurité.
Depuis quand MSF travaille-t-elle dans cette zone du Nord Mali ?
La recrudescence de la violence due aux dernières attaques de Boko Haram dans le sud-est du Niger suscite de vives inquiétudes quant à la situation humanitaire de la population. « Les habitants de Diffa ont commencé à fuir et nous ne savons pas exactement où ils sont allés. Des centaines de véhicules ont quitté la ville depuis les attaques, relate Mohamed Morchid, chef de mission MSF au Niger. Notre préoccupation est maintenant de comprendre la situation humanitaire dans ces autres zones.
The upsurge of violence following Boko Haram's recent attacks in southeast Niger has caused concern about the humanitarian situation of the local population. "The population from Diffa started to flee and it is still not clear where they have been displaced.
Following the 3 January attack by Boko Haram in Baga, Borno State, in northern Nigeria, 5,000 displaced people arrived at the ‘Teacher Village’ camp in Maiduguri, the state capital, where MSF is assisting them. Our teams are also working in neighbouring Niger where refugees continue to arrive. With the upcoming risk of electoral violence, MSF teams in the south of Nigeria are preparing an emergency response plan.
In the wake of a major attack carried out by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram on the northern Nigerian town of Baga, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team is assisting survivors who fled to the city of Maiduguri. Many people are believed to have been slaughtered in the attack—the deadliest by Boko Haram for five years—while thousands more were displaced from their homes.
Twenty wounded survivors are being treated in Maiduguri hospital by Ministry of Health teams.