Coupled with the existing challenges of extreme poverty, underdevelopment and climate change in the Lake Chad region, Boko Haram violence has led to one of the most acute – and sorely neglected – humanitarian crises in the world.
Some 7.1 million people need food assistance across four countries – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria – up from 3 million one year ago. Famine looms for over 120,000 people in the areas most affected by the crisis in north-east Nigeria.
As malnutrition rises to alarming levels in all four countries, over half a million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
In north-eastern Nigeria alone, some 1.9 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Three quarters of them have found shelter within host communities who were already among the poorest in the world.
Cameroon, Chad and Niger have also seen internal displacement of people due to conflict and insecurity, as well as an influx of refugees. Almost 200,000 refugees from Nigeria alone are registered in neighbouring countries. These population movements are stretching already meagre resources to breaking point.
What the World Food Programme is doing to respond to the Lake Chad Basin emergency
Food assistance: cash-based and in-kind
In Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, WFP is providing life-saving food assistance and, where markets are functioning, cash transfers.
WFP is providing nutritional support to vulnerable populations including through school meals initiatives in Chad and Cameroon, and though Blanket Supplementary Feeding for children and pregnant and nursing women in Nigeria.
UN Humanitarian Air Service
WFP is providing safe and reliable air transport to the humanitarian community in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. This includes the use of helicopters to carry vital relief – staff, medicines, vaccines, ready-to-use specialized nutritious food – to hard-to-reach, isolated areas.
Food security analysis
In Nigeria, WFP is gathering data for a better understanding of needs. We use mobile phones surveys (mVAM), and analyze satellite imagery so that humanitarian needs are clearer and assistance can reach the most vulnerable.