Lake Chad Region: World’s Oversight Crisis

An aid agency survey reported that about eight million people in the basis of Africa’s Lake Chad are facing starvation which is a neglected crisis. The growing rates of malnutrition are shocking.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation survey of 19 aid organizations pushes the attention on Thursday on the excessive food shortages in areas of Niger, Chad, Nigeria, and Cameroon located within the main waterless basin of the shrinking Lake Chad.

The agencies said that the crisis have been long standing with horrifying rates of malnutrition among children but no media coverage has been made about it.

A total of eight million people are in the brink of famine caused by population increase, radicalism and climate change that have tremendously shrunk Lake Chad and its tributary rivers.

The agencies’ survey also spotlighted humanitarian catastrophes in South Sudan and in war-torn Yemen, where most of the population struggle to look for food and water.

Dreadful Scale

Humanitarian director Suzanna Tkalec of the Catholic agency Caritas described the food crisis in Nigeria and Niger as “the pit”, and added that 2.4 million people had been dislodged by Boko Haram militants.

Ognjen Radosavljevic, director of International Medical Corps said that the closure of the border had disturbed markets. Agriculture was declining and foodstuffs had become too costly for local people. The world must take action on the terrors of this region, he further said.

Appeal of UNHCR’s Grandi

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi on Wednesday during the wrapping up of a 10-day visit to the enormous Lake Chad region said that the world should win the fight for development if it wanted to prevent insecurity that incite radicalism.

“I am appealing to donors to urgently fund the humanitarian response to help people in need today and invest in their futures,” Grandi said in Abuja.

On Friday, Grandi had launched a $242 million petition on behalf of 36 partner agencies to help 460,000 people in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger while he was visiting Cameroon.

Around 17 million people used to live in the affected areas and the numbers of displaced residents over the last two year have tripled according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  The office further said that in order to assist 8.2 million people in 2017 across the Lake Chad Basin a total of $1.5 billion was needed.

Recue of Civilian People

The Nigerian military on Wednesday stated that its forces have rescued 1,880 civilians during a withdrawal of the Islamist Boko Haram band of soldiers in the Sambisa locality of northeastern Nigeria.

Major-General Leo Irabor in a statement in the regional city of Maiduguri reported that troops had captured 564 members of the Boko Haram and killed several insurgents as the troops recaptured more territories. The troops have also discovered arms and munitions.

Destruction of Bama

French news agency AFP last week documented the present condition of Bama, Borno state’s second largest town, a Nigerian trading post going to Cameroon.

85% of Bama were destroyed with houses gone into ruins and survivors living in camps on its suburbs. Even its main hospital is also in ruins.

Ali Mbusube, camp head, said that gruesome 7-month rule of Boko Haram had turned this nonviolent city into a misery. At daytime, members of the Boko Haram will bring all the men aged over 18 years into the prison and kill them, said Mbusube.

The World Bank estimated the cost of restoring hundreds of destroyed clinics and schools to $5.9 billion.

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