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Lake Chad Basin: Crisis Update No. 21 (November - December 2017)

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Situation Report
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REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Seasonal decline in number of severely food insecure in north-east Nigeria

  • At least 135 children forced to carry out bomb attacks in 2017

  • Around 4,000 Nigerian refugees expected to return from Cameroon

  • Cameroon’s Far North region records around 60 suicide attacks in 2017

  • Armed attacks impair education in parts of Diffa

  • Cholera outbreak in Nigeria’s Borno state declared over

  • Gunmen attack military-escorted convoy in north-east Nigeria

SITUATION UPDATE

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Bomb attacks, mostly by minors forced by Boko Haram to carry and detonate explosives, persist in north-eastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. Dozens of civilians have been killed or injured in recurrent ambushes on sites hosting displaced people, villages and towns. On 3 January, at least 10 people were killed in a mosque attack in Ngala in north-eastern Nigeria. The locality is home to more than 100,000 people struggling to survive the effects of the conflict. Less than a week earlier, seven people were killed in a blast at a wedding ceremony near Maiduguri.

Cameroon’s Far North region suffered around 60 such attacks in 2017, 16 of which were in Kolofata town. Owing to security concerns, the authorities have decided to relocate around 12,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Kolofata to a site in the town’s outskirts. However, there are concerns for their welfare as the new site lacks necessities, notably water and sanitation.

In 2017, at least 135 children – five times as many as in 2016 – were forced to strike targets with explosives fastened to their bodies, underscoring the level of violence, abuse and violations children, and civilians in general, struggle with in the conflict zones.

FOOD SECURITY

Stepped up humanitarian and livelihood assistance, favourable weather and slight market recovery have improved food security in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. Currently, around 2.6 million are grappling with “crisis” or “emergency” levels of food insecurity, according to the November 2017 Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis. The figure is projected to rise to 3.7 million in the upcoming June – August lean season, down from 5.2 million in the 2017 lean season.

Some 81,000 people are facing “crisis” or higher levels of food insecurity in Chad’s Lac region. The lean season will see the figures rise to 187,000. The region is also one of the 12 (out of the country’s 23) where global acute malnutrition has surpassed the 15-per cent emergency threshold.

The greater Lake Chad basin is projected to have an average gross cereal deficit of about 898,000 metric tons, including a deficit of 448,000 metric tons for the main millet and sorghum staple, according to Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET). Cereal deficits are projected to rise to 1.4 million metric tons in 2018.

The limited staple harvests will make households’ stocks deplete earlier and supplies will be below normal in most markets. Thus, staple prices will be above average for the most during the marketing year. Insecurity and related market disruptions will likely persist, impacting markets functioning and traders’ access through the lean season, despite some minor localized improvements, FEWSNET projects.

POPULATION MOVEMENT

The persistent insecurity and hostilities continue to drive displacements. Around 1,400 people were forced to flee their villages in Bama and Gwoza localities in north-eastern Nigeria to a transit camp for the displaced in a town near the border with Cameroon. Military counter-offensives and armed attacks have also recently displaced more than 6,000 people in several localities of Borno state, mainly in Nganzai, Gwoza and Konduga localities. Separately, around 4,000 Nigerian refugees are expected to return from Cameroon in the coming months. Efforts are underway to ensure their return is safe and dignified.

Chad’s Lac region has recorded an IDP population increase (from 119,000 to 147,00) between January and November 2017. Meanwhile, around 51,000 displaced people have returned to their home area in the south of Lac region since 2016. No significant population movement have occurred lately in Niger’s Diffa region.

Cameroon and Niger have urged Boko Haram members to surrender. However, they are yet to establish reintegration and rehabilitation programmes for former combatants. The African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission have recommended a regional Disarmament, Demobilisation,
Reintegration, Repatriation and Resettlement strategy as well as socio-economic and security measures to stabilise the Lake basin region.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.