Crisis in Lake Chad region threatens children's lives | Action Against Hunger

Crisis in Lake Chad region threatens children's lives

A dire humanitarian crisis is threatening children’s lives in Africa's Lake Chad region.

By Action Against Hunger

Feb 20 2017

Conflict, acute food shortages, disease and widespread displacement have left over half a million children at immediate risk of dying from hunger in the Lake Chad region, which borders Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. 

The situation has turned into the largest humanitarian crisis of the region. 

“A devastating humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. Without help, over half a million children are at risk of dying from hunger. With the lives of children hanging in the balance, humanitarian efforts must be scaled up immediately.”  
Juliet Parker, Director of Operations, Action Against Hunger UK

In 2016, only one in every two severely malnourished children received the lifesaving treatment they so urgently need to survive. This year an estimated 540,000 young children are at risk of dying from hunger across the region. 

The conflict between security forces and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, marked by extreme violence against civilians, has had a devastating impact on the lives of innocent children and their families, leading to widespread displacement, violations of international humanitairan law and an escalating humanitarian crisis. 

Needs are immense

The humanitarian outlook for the region is devastating. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2.4 million people have been displaced, exacerbating an already precarious situation and leaving parents struggling to feed their children and keep them healthy. 

A shocking 7.1 million people are facing severe hunger, with 400,000 people experiencing famine-like conditions.  

Host communities sheltering families fleeing the violence are struggling to cope, with new arrivals putting pressure on already limited resources. With limited access to healthcare, water and sanitation, the conditions are ripe for infectious disease outbreaks.

Action Against Hunger responds

Action Against Hunger is present across the region, reaching 2.3 million people last year. We have mobilised our highest level of response and are scaling up activities:

  • Providing emergency food assistance and nutritional supplements for people at risk of life-threatening undernutrition
  • Providing treatment for children at risk of dying from hunger
  • Meeting the basic needs of displaced people and refugees, with a special focus on water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Advocating for an efficient and coordinated response to the crisis so children can survive and thrive

Oslo Donor Conference

Ahead of the international donor conference in Oslo on 24 February, Action Against Hunger therefore calls for an urgent scale-up of efforts on food, nutrition and health in the region. Only a major humanitarian response, coupled with sustainable investments in livelihoods and health systems, will contribute to safety and prosperity in the region.

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