The Lake Chad Basin is one of the most overlooked humanitarian crises today, where around 17 million people across north-eastern Nigeria, Cameroon’s Far North, western Chad and south-east Niger are in need of urgent emergency assistance. The Boko Haram attacks and counter-insurgency campaign have displaced 2.4 million people; the vast majority of whom are in the north-eastern Nigerian states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, where humanitarian access is restricted.
Underlying the current crisis is a history of political and economic marginalisation, poor governance, poverty and environmental degradation. Many are living in desperate conditions without access to food or clean water. Malnutrition rates are alarmingly high. Recent outbreaks of Hepatitis E, malaria and cholera in north-east Nigeria and Niger continue to exacerbate the difficult conditions in the region.
How has the evolution of Boko Haram impacted the Lake Chad region? Why did the crisis take so long to gain international recognition and engagement? What must be done to address the urgent humanitarian needs? And more importantly, how can we resolve this crisis?
Join us as we launch the latest Humanitarian Exchange on the crisis in Nigeria and the Lake Chad basin. Drawing on articles in the Exchange and their own experiences, our panellists discuss the current humanitarian and development challenges in the region, including issues of protection and humanitarian access, the Boko Haram crisis as well as the state-level coordination in the region.
Video message from Jan Egeland @NRC_Egeland – Secretary General, Norwegian Refugee Council
Jon Beloe – Adaptive Programs Director, International Rescue Committee
Toby Lanzer @tobylanzer – United Nations Deputy Special Representative, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan; Former UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel (via video conference)
Chitra Nagarajan @chitranagarajan – Senior Advisor, Center for Civilians in Conflict
Joe Read @readontheroad – Global Advocacy Advisor, CARE USA