Lake Chad Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #5 FY2018

January 04, 2018

Borno officials announce end of the state’s cholera outbreak following GoN and humanitarian interventions

Nearly 60 civilian fatalities reported in recent attacks in northeastern Nigeria, Cameroon’s Far North

Food insecurity across the Lake Chad Basin projected to continue through mid-2018

Numbers At A Glance

8.5 million

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

1.56 million

IDPs in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe

129,000

IDPs in Niger’s Diffa Region

242,000

IDPs in Cameroon’s Far North Region

152,900

IDPs in Chad’s Lac Region

208,500

Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger

Humanitarian Funding

For the Lake Chad Basin Response

USAID/OFDA $134,497,117
USAID/FFP $314,910,422
State/PRM $71,090,000
USAID Nigeria $6,182,734
Total $526,680,273

On December 21, Nigeria’s Borno State Commissioner of Health announced the end of the state’s cholera outbreak after more than two weeks with no new recorded cholera cases. Health officials recorded nearly 5,400 suspected and confirmed cholera cases, including 61 related deaths, between mid-August and December 17. Preventive health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions remain ongoing in affected areas.

Attacks by armed groups in the Lake Chad Basin region remain a significant threat to civilians. In northeastern Nigeria, at least seven alleged Boko Haram attacks in late December and early January resulted in nearly 60 civilian casualties, according to international media. The incidents follow a December 16 attack on a convoy transporting UN World Food Program (WFP) commodities that killed four civilian in Borno. In addition, a person-borne improvised explosive device (PBIED) attack in Cameroon’s Far North Region’s Bia town on December 31 resulted in at least one civilian death.

Recent food security analyses project that food insecurity will continue or worsen across the Lake Chad Basin through mid-2018. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) anticipates that Niger’s Diffa Region may experience Crisis—IPC 3—levels of acute food insecurity between January and May in the absence of continued humanitarian assistance as a result of ongoing conflict. 4 In addition, FEWS NET reports that poor 2017 main-season harvests in northeastern Nigeria are likely to perpetuate Crisis and Emergency—IPC4—levels of acute food insecurity among many vulnerable households in the region.

Between late December and early January, at least seven alleged Boko Haram attacks resulted in the death of nearly 60 civilians and injured dozens more in northeastern Nigeria, international media report. According to international media, Borno officials temporarily extended the existing curfew in Borno’s capital city of Maiduguri in early January, reportedly in response to recent security incidents near the city. The most recent of the reported attacks occurred on January 3, when a PBIED denotated inside a mosque in Borno’s town of Gamboru, killing at least 11 civilians. The recent attacks follow a December 16 attack on a convoy in Borno that included WFP trucks transporting food commodities for conflict-affected populations in northeastern Nigeria. The attack resulted in the death of at least four civilians.

In addition, a December 31 PBIED attack in Cameroon’s Far North town of Bia reportedly killed at least one civilian and injured more than 30 others.

On December 21, the Borno State Commissioner of Health issued a statement marking the end of the cholera outbreak after more than two weeks with no new reported cholera cases in Borno. As of mid-December, relief organizations continued to monitor the cholera situation in Borno’s Guzamala and Monguno local government areas (LGAs), where health authorities last reported new suspected cases in early December. Meanwhile, Borno State Ministry of Health (SMoH) officials have reported no new suspected cholera cases in Dikwa, Jere, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), and Mafa LGAs since mid-November. Between mid-August and December 17, Borno SMoH authorities recorded nearly 5,400 suspected and confirmed cholera cases, including 61 related deaths. USAID partners supported all aspects of the cholera response, including operating cholera treatment centers, facilitating case identification and testing, providing safe drinking water, delivering health and hygiene supplies, and conducting social mobilization activities.

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) sheltering in Nigeria’s Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states nominally decreased from 1.57 million IDPs in October to 1.56 million people in December, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Borno reflected the largest change with a decrease of more than 11,900 IDPs, primarily from Bama and MMC, which saw a decline of 4 percent following the movement of IDPs to Gwoza, Konduga, and Mafa LGAs; Borno continues to host the largest number of IDPs in northeastern Nigeria with more than 1.3 million IDPs.

Nearly 1,440 IDPs arrived at the Pulka Transit Camp in Gwoza LGA between December 8 and 25, according to IOM. The majority of IDPs—65 percent—originated from Gwoza’s Ngoshe area following military operations, while remaining IDPs arrived from other areas of Gwoza and Bama seeking improved living conditions. IOM reports that no IDP departures from the camp occurred during the period, increasing the site population to nearly 4,800 people and causing site congestion; nearly 130 additional IDPs arrived at the site from December 27–January 3. Relief organizations are scaling up food, nutrition, and WASH assistance at the site to respond to increasing needs, according to the UN.

On December 11, humanitarian agencies commenced the relocation of approximately 15,000 IDPs from the Bama General Hospital IDP camp to the recently established Government Science Senior Secondary School (GSSSS) IDP camp, both located in Bama town, Borno, the UN reports. IDPs had sheltered at the hospital since 2015, where they faced congested conditions and insufficient access to basic services, according to the UN. Relief organizations are working to ensure relocated IDPs receive adequate shelter and access to basic services at the GSSSS IDP camp.

The prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) decreased in Borno’s Rann town in Kala Balge LGA in recent months, according to an early December rapid assessment by WFP; the assessment identified an average GAM level of 11 percent, whereas humanitarian actors had reported GAM levels as high as 18 percent in some areas of the LGAs in August, which exceeded the UN World Health Organization (WHO) emergency threshold of 15 percent GAM. WFP reports that IDPs living in collective settlements continue to require food assistance; however, the assessment findings suggest that food security actors should transition to early recovery or agriculture support efforts for host populations who have access to arable land.

WFP conducted a similar assessment in Borno’s Damasak town in Mobbar LGA in early December, which found more than half of the surveyed population to be food insecure—including 5 percent who are severely food insecure. As a result, WFP recommended that humanitarian actors target food assistance for households who have limited access to income-generating opportunities or lack assets to support livelihoods, rather than providing general food assistance across the LGA. WFP also highlighted that although arable land is available, many farmers are unwilling to use land further than 2 miles from town centers due to security concerns.

Food security actors should utilize cash-based assistance to meet food needs in Borno’s Konduga town, according to a late 2017 REACH Initiative assessment of food assistance modalities among displaced and host populations in the town. Nearly 60 percent of surveyed households preferred cash-based assistance to in-kind aid; primary reasons for the preference for cash-based assistance included freedom to select preferred foods and flexibility to use assistance for both food and non-food needs. In addition, more than 80 percent of households have access to markets. However, food affordability remains a challenge; on average, households had insufficient cash to meet food needs on 12 days per month. The assessment also found that the majority of vendors selling staple food items would likely have the capacity to increase stocks to meet the higher demand for goods.

In November 2017, WFP dispatched 14,500 metric tons (MT) of food assistance and distributed $3.1 million in cash-based support to address the food needs of more than 1.1 million people in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. The UN agency also provided supplementary micronutrient powder for 136,000 children and 97,500 pregnant and lactating women. WFP reports that the advent of the dry season has improved road access to some hard-to-reach areas of northeastern Nigeria, although localized flooding caused by dam releases to support agricultural activities continued to limit access to Rann. In addition, poor ground transportation conditions near the Port of Lagos delayed the delivery of imported food commodities to populations in need in the northeastern region.

In November 2017, USAID/FFP non-governmental organization (NGO) partners reached nearly 752,200 people with emergency in-kind or cash-based food assistance in Borno and Yobe—more than 90 percent of the monthly target. The NGOs also conducted nutrition activities—such as cooking demonstrations, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) trainings, and malnutrition screenings—to complement the delivery of food assistance.

Farmers in conflict-affected areas of northeastern Nigeria reaped significantly below-average main-season staple harvests in late 2017 due to restricted field access and insufficient and irregular rainfall, according to a December FEWS NET report. Disrupted market activity, above-average food prices, and limited livelihood opportunities are also constraining many households’ access to food in the region. FEWS NET reports that an elevated risk of Famine—IPC 5—persists in inaccessible areas of northeastern Nigeria, where information on current food security outcomes is limited. In addition, FEWS NET expects Crisis and Emergency levels of acute food insecurity to continue for many households who had poor or no main season harvests. Households in areas of northeastern Nigeria less affected by the insurgency, such as southern Borno, southern Adamawa, and western and central Yobe, are expected to face Stressed—IPC 2—levels of food insecurity until May.

USAID/FFP partner the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) supported the treatment of more than 27,900 severely malnourished children in northeastern Nigeria in November. UNICEF admitted more than 189,200 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) for treatment between January and November. The UN agency also provided supplementary nutrition support for nearly 468,200 children and counseled approximately 577,500 caregivers on IYCF best practices from January–November.

Humanitarian actors are conducting nutrition assessments in Far North to improve understanding of humanitarian needs in the region. As of November, UNICEF had admitted more than 32,500 children for SAM treatment in Far North in 2017, including approximately 9,100 children treated from October–November.

A USAID/OFDA NGO partner is facilitating cash-for-work programs for conflict-affected populations in Far North. The programs support livelihoods while improving community infrastructure, including repairing rural roads and dredging and maintaining waterways and dams

Poor harvests, declining income from fishing and livestock sales, and the presence of displaced populations pressuring already limited resources are contributing to Stressed levels of acute food insecurity in Chad’s Lac Region, which FEWS NET expects to continue through January 2018. Humanitarian assistance is currently preventing a decline to Crisis levels of acute food insecurity in the region. However, FEWS NET anticipates that households in Lac will face Crisis levels of acute food insecurity between February and May 2018 as conflict continues to hinder access to livelihoods.

FEWS NET reports that populations across the majority of central and southern Diffa Region are currently facing Stressed levels of acute food insecurity, with humanitarian assistance preventing further deterioration. FEWS NET projects that some parts of Diffa may experience Crisis levels of acute food insecurity between January and May 2018 in the absence of continued humanitarian assistance, as insecurity continues to disrupt vulnerable households’ main sources of food and income.

USAID/OFDA continues to support the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Niger, providing nearly $1 million in FY 2017 funding for UNHAS operations in Diffa. In November, UNHAS transported nearly 1,500 passengers and nearly 3,200 MT of cargo in Niger, including more than 400 passengers and nearly 1,500 MT of supplies in support of humanitarian efforts in Diffa.

Years of conflict perpetuated by Boko Haram and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria–West Africa have triggered a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad Basin region, including Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. The escalating violence—including deliberate attacks on civilians and relief workers—has displaced more than 2 million people; hindered agricultural production, livelihoods, and cross-border trade; prevented delivery of humanitarian assistance; and restricted affected populations from accessing basic services in the four countries.

The UN estimates that nearly 11 million people in the region require humanitarian assistance, including approximately 8.5 million people in northeastern Nigeria’s three most-affected states—Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. Populations in the Lake Chad Basin remain highly dependent on emergency food assistance to meet basic food needs, in addition to requiring emergency health, nutrition, protection, shelter, and WASH interventions.

On November 10, 2016, USAID activated a DART to lead the U.S. Government response to the humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria. USAID also stood up a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to support the DART.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Matthew D. Smith, U.S. Ambassador Geeta Pasi, and U.S. Ambassador W. Stuart Symington have re-declared disasters for FY 2018 due to the ongoing complex emergencies and humanitarian crises in Cameroon, Chad, and Nigeria, respectively.

Last updated: January 08, 2018

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