The COVID-19 outbreak continues to spread throughout the Lake Chad Basin countries. Despite the sharp increase in new cases, Governments have started to ease certain lockdown measures. Meanwhile, armed attacks are escalating in many localities, uprooting thousands of people and prolonging displacement and adversity faced by millions of civilians across the region. Violence continues to traumatize populations and to disrupt relief operations. Over 2.7 million people have fled their homes – finding themselves under physical and emotional strain, lacking shelter, food and adequate access to clean water, hygiene and basic sanitation – all of which makes them more vulnerable to the pandemic. The lean season has begun in the region, a time when food insecurity rises considerably. Against this seasonal backdrop, the COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating the situation as the closure of markets, borders and imposition of measures such as curfews further impact livelihoods and access to food. Currently, 4.4 million people are severely food insecure in the region, in the region. Recent analyses warn that the impact of the pandemic risks doubling the number of people facing food insecurity until the end of the year. Malnutrition in conflict-affected areas risks deteriorating fast. 500,000 children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition. Schools closed down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in addition to more than 1,000 schools shut due to insecurity. The compounded crises risk devastating the region, putting millions at risk and require an urgent scale-up of support and resources. As of late June 2020, only 14 per cent of the US$1.5 billion needed for the response was received.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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