The humanitarian emergency across the Lake Chad basin is one of the world’s most severe. This year, around 10.7 million people need relief assistance to survive. The near-decade-long conflict has wilted livelihoods, entire communities have been emptied and civilians continue to suffer frequent rights violations. Insecurity is deterring resumption of normal life in many localities.
Over the past two years, stepped-up humanitarian assistance has saved millions of lives. Assistance is reaching more people than before as aid organisations increase personnel, previously unreachable areas become accessible and donors support grows. Concerted efforts by humanitarian actors and the Government helped avert the risk of famine in 2017. Food insecurity and malnutrition, nonetheless, remain high in the conflict-hit regions of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Humanitarian organisations are in 2018 requesting for US$1.6 billion to ease hunger, provide water, shelter, hygiene, healthcare, protection and education and help communities rebuild their lives and livelihoods.
The humanitarian response in 2017 has been effective, reaching millions of people and saving many lives. But humanitarian needs will remain high into 2018 and beyond, and continued support from the international community behind national efforts will be essential. Among the top priorities, improved security and access are essential to protect civilians and allow the population to rebuild their lives. Sustained humanitarian efforts need to be paired with supporting recovery and scaling up development efforts.
Humanitarian actors and Governments have developed strategies to provide emergency life-saving assistance and work closely with development actors to address the structural causes of human suffering. The integrated programmes seek to bring long-term solutions to communities suffering the chronic effects of underinvestment in social services, poverty, environmental degradation and climate change.