Lake Chad Basin facing worst food insecurity in four years

By Giyo Ndzi

The humanitarian crisis imposed on countries of the Lake Chad Basin continues to hit deplorable levels, with over 10 million persons now in need of assistance. This was revealed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, OCHA, citing figures obtained as of September 22, 2021.

“Across the Lake Chad Basin, i.e in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, 10.6 million people need humanitarian assistance. After 12 years of violence, basic social services and already limited natural resources are severely strained,” read a portion of a report made public by the UN organ recently.

In the same light, OCHA noted, millions are internally displaced and millions more struggling with food insecurity: “5.1 million people are struggling with food insecurity – the worst increase for the first time in four year – and 400,000 children are severely malnourished,” the OCHA document went on.

Still in the affected countries, it stated “1,050 schools are non-functional across the Lake Chad Basin, depriving thousands of children of education. 2.8 million are internally displaced including 2 million in Nigeria alone.”
The precarious situation, to OCHA, is exacerbated by the continuous violence spurred by attacks by the Boko Haram sect.

Lake Chad Basis crisis victims receive aid

“Violence continues to spread with 55 security incidents registered in 2021 and causing the killing of 202 people,” said OCHA.

In a recent move to mitigate these adverse effects of the armed insurgency, members of the Multinational Joint Task Force, the African Union and governors of the regions directly affected by the crisis met recently in Yaounde to reiterate their commitment to the cause. The assembly which came to a close yesterday, the state of military-civilian cooperation was reviewed and measures including ensuring integration of former Boko Haram militants into society discussed.

OCHA on its part, reiterated its drive to see the humanitarian situation salvaged. The necessary finances however, it said, remain slow in coming: “to adequately address the most acute humanitarian needs, response plans in the region require 2.51 Billion US Dollars. Yet, after almost three-quarters of the year, only 31 per cent of the required funds have been receives,” read its September 30 Lake Chad Basin Humanitarian Snapshot.

The Boko Haram insurgency went viral in 2009, but shortly met resistance from countries of the Lake Chad Basin seeking to protect their respective territories. The armed conflict is estimated to have caused the killing of over 30,000 persons, displacing millions more in Nigeria alone – where it originated.

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