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Conflict in the Lake Chad Basin

Lake Chad Basin crisis

In the Lake Chad BasinCameroon, Chad, the Niger and Nigeria ‒ the Boko Haram insurgency has led to unprecedented levels of population displacements and to the prolonged disruption of agricultural, livestock and fishing activities. In affected areas, the crisis is deeply aggravating chronic poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition patterns, with the most affected population living in complete destitution and without access to basic social services.

During the 2017 lean season, about 6.9 million people will be food insecure in the Lake Chad Basin, 75 percent of whom are in northeastern Nigeria (Cadre Harmonisé, June‒August 2017). Displaced people are deprived of their livelihoods and mostly rely on the limited food reserves and resources of their host communities. In order to meet their most urgent needs, they turn to survival strategies, such as reducing the number of daily meals. Most have already lost their critical productive assets and are faced with very limited livelihood options. On 16 December 2016, following a Famine Early Warning System Network IPC Compatible Analysis in Borno State, an IPC Special Alert was issued highlighting the urgent need for humanitarian action to respond to the elevated risk of famine in parts of the state.

In the framework of FAO’s Lake Chad Basin Crisis Response Strategy (2017-2019), the Organization seeks USD 232 million, of which USD 73.6 million for 2017, to assist 3 million people in need in the four countries. FAO will adopt a twin-track approach to respond to the immediate food production and nutrition needs of host communities and displaced populations (IDPs, refugees and returnees), while also strengthening their capacities to diversify and accumulate assets to further reinforce their resilience. Building on the key principles of resilience, the proposed activities are designed to:

  • Respond to the most urgent needs of the affected population by supporting food production and income generation.
  • Increase resilience by restoring and protecting agricultural livelihoods, while ensuring a sustainable management of the natural resources they rely on
  • Strengthen food security analysis and early warning to help countries and communities prepare for threats and future shocks.

The most urgent priority is to ensure that farmers are provided with time-critical inputs for cereal production during the next planting season starting in May 2017. The provision of veterinary care and animal feed will also be crucial to prevent animal losses during the pastoral lean season.

FAO also aims to address the underlying causes of vulnerability to enhance the resilience of populations in the region, with activities such as the production of varieties of seeds adapted to climate change, the rehabilitation of degraded land or innovative approaches such as Cash+.

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