Lake Chad Basin: Humanitarian Country Teams call for US$542 million to provide aid to 6 million people

23 September, 2016
Bosso, Niger, 15 September 2016: Because of insecurity, Hadiza has to rely solely on her sewing machine to maintain her dignity and the means of subsistence to support her eight children. Credit: OCHA/Adamou M.Amadou
Bosso, Niger, 15 September 2016: Because of insecurity, Hadiza has to rely solely on her sewing machine to maintain her dignity and the means of subsistence to support her eight children. Credit: OCHA/Adamou M.Amadou
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Today the four Humanitarian Country Teams in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria called for US$542 million to deliver life-saving humanitarian aid to 6 million people in the next three months. This revised amount is more than the original projected total for the year.

“Millions of people [are] caught up in hunger, conflict, and horrific human rights abuses in the Lake Chad Basin,” said UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson at the high-level side-event organized to tackle the severity of the crisisin the Lake Chad Basin. “This is one of the worst crises in today’s troubled world. Still, regrettably, it has struggled for the world’s attention. This high-level event is a sign that we want to focus attention on the Lake Chad Basin. Across the Lake Chad Basin, over 9 million people urgently need humanitarian aid and 6.3 million lack sufficient nutrition. Civilians have been killed, homes have been torched, possessions looted, livelihoods destroyed. Tens of thousands of people in northeastern Nigeria are living in famine conditions.”

While humanitarian agencies continue to mobilize and scale up their response, underfunding remains a critical issue. The region of Diffa hosts to 300,000 people who have been forced to flee their villages in the Diffa (Niger) and in Nigeria alone. According to authorities from the Diffa Region, though more than 80 per cent of the population of Bosso, who became displaced after the 3 June attacks, has returned home; commercial activities remains largely paralyzed due to continued insecurity affecting the Lake Chad Basin area. Among these people was Hadiza, who found herself amongst 70,000 other internally displaced persons fleeingBosso and surrounding areas to feel more secure elsewhere. The attacks on her hometown were carried out by Boko Haram insurgents.

Hadiza relies solely on her sewing machine to maintain her dignity and the means of subsistence permitting her to support her eight children. Sewing is the trade she has adopted since the time she had to abandon her agricultural activities of growing peppers. She gave up selling fish as a result of the ban of that activity due to growing insecurity around Komadougou River, the natural border area between Niger and Nigeria.“When I fled Bosso in early June, I lived in Diffa City with my children and little assistance and much suffering,” she says. “When I heard the situation had improved, I decided to return to Bosso, awaiting better days.”

“Prior to June’s attacks, I earned three dollars from sewing orders, but since my return here sewing is less reliable as a mean of income because most families have more urgent priorities than clothes due to lack of income,” says Hadiza. “I wish for peace to be restored in Bosso and in the Lake Chad area in order for our children to grow up in a stable environment and for us to re-establish our agricultural, fishing and trade activities.”
“In Diffa, two out of every three displaced persons have had to move more than once, each time testing their resilience and further deepening their suffering,” says Dieudonne Bamouni, OCHA’s Head of Office in Niger. “Displaced persons as well as their host communities are trying to exploit all possible socio-economic means available locally in order to subsist. These attempts are further hampered by the insecurity which pervades the Lake Chad Basin area.”

“In addition to the humanitarian assistance, displaced people and host communities need to be further protected against the violence in the Lake Chad Basin and to be assisted with more substantial support to build their capacity of resilience ,” adds Bamouni.
In order to deliver rapid assistance to people affected by the June attack, Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien allocated through the Central Emergency Response (CERF)$ 5 million to Niger’s Diffa region.