UN warns of dire humanitarian crisis in Lake Chad

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The United Nations has warned of great humanitarian crisis for more than nine million people affected by the Boko Haram-related conflict across the Lake Chad Basin, 76 per cent of who are in Nigeria.

Giving the warning yesterday in Borno State at the end of his four-day visit to Niger and Nigeria, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, said efforts must be made to stem the tide of humanitarian crisis in the Lake. “Environmental degradation, poverty, under-development and violent extremism are converging to create a complex and multi-faceted crisis, and only with comprehensive coordination from humanitarian, development and security actors will we be able to deliver for people who are suffering so terribly in Lake Chad.”

According to a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday by the office of the UN Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordination, O’Brien visited a camp in Konduga locality hosting some 1,600 displaced people.

“Eleven months ago the people in this camp were torched out of their homes by Boko Haram. We have to listen to them. We must respond to what they actually need,” O’Brien said. “Our responsibility as humanitarians is to identify and meet with great urgency the immediate needs of saving lives and protecting civilians. At the same time, we need to make sure that girls and women are protected, and young boys are not taken to camps by factions of the fighting forces. We must make sure that there are opportunities for education, and for families to stay together.”

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