The European Commission has announced additional assistance for the Lake Chad region in 2017 as humanitarian needs grow.
The European Commission has already allocated €55 million of humanitarian support to populations in the Lake Chad region in Africa in 2017 and is now planning to mobilise additional funding to the amount of €50 million to step up its support to a total of €105 million.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides made the announcement today during an international conference in Oslo, Norway, aimed at addressing the pressing humanitarian situation in the region.
"With the crisis in the Lake Chad region growing at an extremely alarming rate, the EU is stepping up its response. Today I announced the EU will allocate €105 million in humanitarian aid for the crisis. These funds will help meet the life-saving needs of the affected populations and scale up our response. The conditions for delivering assistance remain particularly difficult. It is essential to ensure quick and safe access to people who need lifesaving assistance." said Commissioner Stylianides.
The funding would help meet the increasing humanitarian needs, notably in the following five areas of food, nutrition, water and sanitation, health and protection.
The European Union has been one of the largest aid donors to the crisis in region. Since January 2016, €177 million has been provided in humanitarian aid and a further €159 million in development assistance from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has recently been allocated to support 15 projects.
The conflict between security forces and the armed group Boko Haram is having devastating humanitarian consequences in the Lake Chad basin. The crisis is heavily affecting populations in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Over 2.3 million people have been displaced within or out of their country.
Food insecurity has reached crisis levels in some parts of the region, and malnutrition rates are well beyond emergency levels defined by the World Health Organization (WHO). In Nigeria's northeast region alone, some 4.6 million people are in need of emergency food assistance. Access to basic services is severely limited and the risk of epidemics due to the lack of water, sanitation, shelter and health services also remains extremely high.
High levels of insecurity across the area continue to seriously hamper humanitarian access. The consequence of which is the difficulty of delivering aid, in particular to northeast Nigeria, the extreme north of Cameroon and the Diffa region in Niger.