Lake Chad Basin Crisis: Struggles and Hopes

The Lake Chad Basin (LCB) humanitarian crisis is one of the most severe in the world. The prolonged crisis has seen around 2.4 million people uprooted from their homes and communities, fueled widespread hunger and malnutrition, and subjected millions of civilians to extreme hardship. The volatile security situation has seen multiple displacements which is impeding resumption of normal life, livelihood activities in affected communities crippled, leaving about 10.7 million conflict-affected people almost dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival.

The massive humanitarian need in the region prompted a collective and agency-wide scale-up by the humanitarian community which saw the arrival of new INGOs, in addition to the existing ones. Soon after, a Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the LCB region was organised in Oslo, Norway, commonly tagged as the ‘Oslo Conference’ to raise the profile of the crisis and increase funding that can match the humanitarian needs. 14 donors pledged $672 million for Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, with around $460 million fulfilled in 2017; the conference is considered to have been a success.

Despite the huge success by all agencies in scaling up, improving coordination and information sharing across boards, the crisis remains critical and evolving with continuous attacks and uprooting of civilians coupled with cross-border returns of refugees. The funding situation in 2018 looks increasingly bleak with fading international interest in the LCB crisis. Thus the need to engage more in the Oslo II/Berlin LCB conference to revive interest in the region.

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