Deputy Secretary-General calls on development partners to boost aid for Lake Chad Basin

More support from donors is urgently needed to expand efforts seeking to improve the lives of those affected by the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General said on September 23, imploring the international community to rally behind a new call for action.

“The crimes taking place in the Lake Chad Basin are tearing the social fabric in ways that could take generations to repair unless we get active now,” said UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson at a high-level meeting at UN Headquarters in New York this morning on the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin – which borders Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – attended by the Presidents of those four countries, as well as other world leaders and international partners.

A new report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed that long-running violence and military counter-offensives by Boko Haram insurgents have affected about 21 million people across the Lake Chad Basin and left nearly half of the region’s population, or 9.2 million people, in urgent need of humanitarian aid.

According to OCHA, suicide bombings, raids on villages and towns have uprooted 2.6 million people in the region’s four countries, fleeing violent attacks in their towns and villages, while 6.3 million lack sufficient nutrition. Children are particularly vulnerable, especially the 1.7 million children who have been displaced across the region, OCHA noted.

The UN humanitarian agency also said that the majority of the displaced have been sheltered by communities who themselves count among the world’s most vulnerable. The combined effect of growing insecurity, fast population growth and severe vulnerability resulting from a changing climate, environmental degradation, poverty and underinvestment in social services is translating into record numbers of people in need of emergency relief. UN agencies and non-governmental organizations aim to reach 6 million with assistance in the four countries, OCHA said.

 

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