Lake Chad Basin Emergency: Revised requirement and response priorities (September 2017)
Continued violence and displacements
Boko Haram attacks and military counter-offensives have displaced 2.3 million people, and many have had to flee several times. The majority of the displaced are sheltered by communities who themselves count among the world’s most vulnerable. The situation remains highly dynamic, with new displacements as well as return movements. However, in recent months, the Lake Chad Basin has witnessed a new upsurge in violence. Suicide attacks have become more frequent in north-east Nigeria, and the number of children forcibly recruited to participate in the violence has quadrupled in 2017. Cameroon also recorded an increased number of incidents, with new areas becoming unreachable for humanitarian actors. In Niger, attacks near the Chadian border caused new cross-border displacements. And in Chad, a dozen villages were attacked in recent months, limiting access and jeopardizing the protection of civilians.
Food and nutrition emergency
Food insecurity rapidly deteriorated in 2016, with risk of famine threatening the most affected communities. Over the last twelve months, UN and partner NGOs have massively ramped up assistance and, paired with governmental interventions, avoided a catastrophe. But communities remain highly fragile: 7.2 million people require life-saving food assistance, including 5.2 million in north-east Nigeria alone. Throughout the region, more than half a million children are severely acutely malnourished.
Grave protection concerns
Civilians are bearing the brunt of the conflict. Persistent violence and displacement continue to cause serious protection risks and rights violations, stretching already weak health and education systems.
Women and girls have been kidnapped and subjected to physical and psychological abuse, forced marriage, sexual slavery or forced labour. Boko Haram is targeting IDP and refugee hosting areas, and health facilities and schools. Safe spaces for women and children, access to essential services and psychological support must be central to the humanitarian response.
Paving the way for reconstruction
While the humanitarian priorities focus on life-saving assistance, humanitarian actors also call for concerted engagement of political, development and security actors to help stabilize the region, prevent the emergency from sliding into a protracted crisis, and create conditions for people to survive and prosper.