Lake Chad Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #21 FY2017

July 20, 2017

  • UNHCR launches revised appeal for the Lake Chad Basin region, seeking an additional $9.5 million to assist returning Nigerian refugees
  • NGO partner reports deteriorating food security, livelihoods, and nutrition conditions in Diffa, Niger, as of June
  • USAID/OFDA partner UNICEF provides critical health, nutrition, and WASH assistance in northeastern Nigeria

Numbers At A Glance

8.5 million

Population Requiring Humanitarian Assistance in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States

1.69 million

IDPs in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe

127,299

IDPs in Niger’s Diffa Region

228,443

IDPs in Cameroon’s Far North Region

118,804

IDPs in Chad’s Diffa Region

207,227

Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger

Humanitarian Funding

For the Lake Chad Basin Response

USAID/OFDA 146,700,677
USAID/FFP $364,938,366
State/PRM $111,662,524
USAID Nigeria $17,036,443
Total $640,338,010

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported a decline in the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in northeastern Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states between May and June, with nearly 1.69 million IDPs registered in June, compared to approximately 1.75 million IDPs in May. In addition, more than 23,000 people returned to areas of origin in June. However, insecurity continues to displace households, including those who have relocated more than once due to violence or available assistance. Following a late July visit to Nigeria, including to IOM project sites in Borno, IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing called for increased international assistance for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria.

Hepatitis E continues to affect individuals in Nigeria and neighboring areas of Niger. Ngala Local Government Area (LGA), located in Borno, remains the epicenter of the ongoing hepatitis E outbreak in northeastern Nigeria, where the disease is endemic. As of July 21, health actors in Ngala had recorded approximately 470 confirmed or suspected cases of hepatitis E, or approximately 84 percent of cases identified across seven LGAs since early May. Meanwhile, health agencies in Niger had recorded nearly 1,500 suspected or confirmed cases of hepatitis E in conflict-affected Diffa Region as of July 23. Relief actors in both countries, including USAID/OFDA partners, continue to provide health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) assistance in affected areas.

Food prices in many areas of the Lake Chad Basin region are increasing as household food stores dwindle and market demand increases, according to USAID/FFP partner the UN World Food Program (WFP). The UN agency projects that the July-to-September lean season will be characterized by a worsening food crisis in the region

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) continues to report concerns regarding large-scale refugee returns—both spontaneous and led by the Government of the Republic of Cameroon (GRC)—from Cameroon to northeastern Nigeria. The returns are resulting in secondary displacement, including in Bama LGA’s Banki town, where more than 35,000 Nigerian refugees returned from Cameroon between January and June, according to the UN. In total, UNHCR recorded more than 134,800 returned Nigerian refugees, primarily from Cameroon’s Far North Region, between January and June.

Members of the Tripartite Commission—comprising representatives from the GRC, the Government of Nigeria (GoN), and UNHCR—plan to meet in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja on August 10–12 to discuss measures for facilitating voluntary returns in accordance with international standards, as well as steps for creating favorable conditions for returns to areas of origin in northeastern Nigeria.

On July 26, UNHCR launched a revised appeal requesting an additional $9.5 million to scale up its response to the crisis in northeastern Nigeria, including the recent increase in returns of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon. The request brings UNCHR’s total funding appeal for the Nigeria response to nearly $179.5 million. With the additional funding, UNHCR plans to scale up operations—including protection and monitoring activities—in border areas and launch outreach campaigns in refugee camps in Far North to share information regarding conditions in areas of potential return with Nigerian refugees.

Through $23.8 million in FY 2017 assistance, State/PRM is supporting UNHCR to provide multi-sector humanitarian assistance, including critical protection services, to conflict-affected populations in the Lake Chad Basin region.

Nearly 1.69 million IDPs were sheltering in northeastern Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states as of late June, representing a 3 percent decrease compared to the approximately 1.75 million IDPs identified in May, IOM reports. In addition, more than 23,000 people returned to areas of origin in June, bringing the total returnee population to nearly 1.3 million people. Borno continued to host the majority of IDPs—more than 1.4 million people—while Adamawa and Yobe hosted approximately 137,000 and 107,000 IDPs, respectively. IOM found that approximately 68 percent of IDPs identified food as the most immediate need. From May to June, the main drivers of population movement in northeastern Nigeria included IDP returns to areas of origin and travel for livelihood opportunities, according to IOM. Armed group attacks, military operations, improved access to previously inaccessible areas, and spontaneous and forced returns of Nigerians from neighboring Cameroon also contributed to population movement during the month.

Relief organizations continue to provide emergency food assistance to food-insecure populations in northeastern Nigeria, where vulnerable households face significant food gaps and will likely experience Emergency—IPC 4—levels of acute food insecurity through at least January 2018, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).4 The risk of Famine—IPC 5—persists in areas of Borno that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, FEWS NET reports.

With the support of USAID/FFP and other donors, WFP distributed more than 9,500 metric tons (MT) of food commodities, reaching approximately 538,000 people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe with food assistance from July 1–15. Cumulatively, relief actors provided emergency food assistance to an estimated 2.3 million people in northeastern Nigeria in June, according to the Food Security Working Group, the coordinating body for food security activities in Nigeria, comprising UN agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders.

Between early May and July 21, health actors reported more than 560 suspected or confirmed cases of hepatitis E, including at least six deaths, in Borno State’s Askira Uba, Bayo, Chibok, Gubio, Mobbar, Monguno, and Ngala LGAs, according to the Borno State Ministry of Health. Ngala remains the most acutely affected LGA, with approximately 470 suspected or confirmed hepatitis E cases as of July 21—a more than 30 percent increase from the 360 cases identified as of July 15.

In response, USAID partner the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is distributing approximately 7,400 hygiene kits to households in Ngala. In addition, a USAID/OFDA NGO partner is facilitating access to improved hygiene facilities, rehabilitating water points, scaling up household-level hygiene promotion activities, and training community and IDP volunteers to chlorinate existing water points and desludge drains and latrines. The partner has also distributed approximately 2,400 hygiene kits to households in Ngala.

To reduce the risk of increased transmission of waterborne diseases, including cholera, during Nigeria’s May-to-October rainy season, UNICEF is constructing and rehabilitating WASH infrastructure to provide safe drinking water access for more than 39,400 people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. The UN agency supported the distribution of WASH and other relief supply kits benefiting nearly 52,800 people in the three states. In Borno, UNICEF and other relief actors chlorinated 680 water sources to benefit 311,000 people in Jere and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council LGAs. The UN agency is also providing daily trucking of 48 MT of safe drinking water to Borno’s Pulka town.

UNICEF is working in concert with the GoN Ministry of Health, other UN agencies, and NGO partners to provide critical health and nutrition services in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. UNICEF supported the provision of integrated primary health care services to nearly 211,000 women and children in host communities and IDP sites in northeastern Nigeria from June 1–15. UNICEF and its implementing partners also assisted with the immunization of nearly 144,000 children and pregnant women; delivered vitamin A supplements to more than 62,000 children and deworming tablets to nearly 56,000 children; and reached approximately 18,000 women with antenatal, safe delivery, and post-natal care services during the same period. In addition, UNICEF and partners have established eight community-based management of acute malnutrition centers in Borno to improve access to nutrition assistance for 21,000 children ages five years and younger. The UN agency and partners have admitted more than 54,000 children for treatment of severe acute malnutrition to date in 2017.

In June, WFP provided in-kind food and cash assistance to more than 193,000 Nigerian refugees and Cameroonian IDPs in Far North. WFP has been providing beneficiaries in Cameroon with 75 percent rations since January due to resource shortfalls, but plans to increase ration sizes in the coming months, given recent donor contributions and the ongoing lean season.

Despite continued humanitarian assistance, vulnerable households in Chad’s Lac Region will likely experience Crisis—IPC 3—levels of acute food insecurity through September due to ongoing insecurity, low household food stocks, poor livestock body conditions, declining livestock prices, and rising cereal prices, according to FEWS NET.

In June, WFP provided nearly 127,300 IDPs and approximately 6,300 Nigerian refugees in conflict-affected areas of Chad with emergency food assistance, including cash-based and in-kind food assistance. In addition, WFP conducted activities to prevent malnutrition benefiting more than 10,000 children ages six to 23 months.

Ongoing insecurity continues to disrupt markets and livelihood activities—including agricultural and livestock sales and fishing—in Niger’s Diffa Region, contributing to Crisis-level acute food insecurity, according to FEWS NET. FEWS NET expects vulnerable households in Diffa to experience Crisis levels through January 2018.

In June, a USAID/OFDA NGO partner conducted a Household Economy Analysis (HEA) to better understand the effect of sharp increases in cereal prices in recent months on food security and livelihoods in Niger. The HEA is an analytical framework that uses a variety of data sources, including census data and information on agricultural performance and commodity prices, to develop a baseline understanding of the typical relationship between households and the regional or national economy. Food security actors use this baseline to project and plan for possible impacts of economic shocks on livelihoods activities and households’ ability to meet basic food and non-food needs without humanitarian assistance.

The June HEA analysis indicates a deterioration in food security, nutrition, and livelihood conditions in parts of Niger, including Diffa Region’s Diffa Department and Niamey Urban Community Region, as compared to the March findings from the Cadre Harmonisé, a food security tool used throughout West Africa for the classification, analysis, and reporting of food insecurity. Poor agricultural and pastoral performance, the depletion of household stocks, and market closures—partly attributable to ongoing instability and security-related restrictions—contributed to a doubling of grain prices as compared to the HEA-identified baseline for Niger and a decrease in household income, limiting populations’ access to food.

Between January 2 and July 23, health actors in Niger recorded nearly 1,500 suspected or confirmed cases of hepatitis E, including 38 associated deaths, in five of Diffa’s six districts, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reports. From July 17–23, health actors recorded 55 new suspected cases and no deaths, a decline from the 74 new suspected cases reported the previous week. Humanitarian agencies are distributing WASH supplies, improving access to safe drinking water, conducting hygiene education sessions, and providing case management and health care services in affected areas.

Following escalated violence in northeastern Nigeria, the GoN declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe in May 2013. Between 2013 and 2015, Boko Haram attacks generated significant displacement within Nigeria and eventually to the surrounding countries of Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. As Boko Haram expanded its reach in Nigeria, controlling territory and launching attacks in neighboring countries, the scale of displacement continued to increase, and deteriorations in markets and loss of livelihoods exacerbated conflict-related food insecurity.

By early 2016, advances by the Nigerian military and the Multi-National Joint Task Force—comprising forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria—had recovered large swathes of territory from Boko Haram in Nigeria, revealing acute food insecurity and malnutrition in newly accessible areas. Insecurity, including attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–West Africa, continues to restrict access to basic services, and both displaced people and vulnerable host communities are in need of emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, and relief commodities, as well as health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and WASH interventions.

In October and November 2016, U.S. Ambassador Michael S. Hoza, U.S. Ambassador Geeta Pasi, U.S. Ambassador Eunice S. Reddick, and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., David J. Young, redeclared disasters for the complex emergencies in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, respectively.

On November 10, 2016, USAID activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the U.S. Government (USG) response to the humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria.

By early 2016, advances by the Nigerian military and the Multi-National Joint Task Force—comprising forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria—had recovered large swathes of territory from Boko Haram in Nigeria, revealing acute food insecurity and malnutrition in newly accessible areas. Insecurity, including attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–West Africa, continues to restrict access to basic services, and both displaced people and vulnerable host communities are in need of emergency food assistance, safe drinking water, and relief commodities, as well as health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and WASH interventions.

In October and November 2016, U.S. Ambassador Michael S. Hoza, U.S. Ambassador Geeta Pasi, U.S. Ambassador Eunice S. Reddick, and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., David J. Young, re-declared disasters for the complex emergencies in Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, respectively.

On November 10, 2016, USAID activated a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to lead the U.S. Government (USG) response to the humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria.

Last updated: September 22, 2017

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