Lake Chad Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #17 FY2017

June 8, 2017

  • IDP camps in Nigeria’s Banki town host more than 42,000 people
  • Population influxes to Nigeria’s Pulka town strain already limited resources, notably water and shelter
  • Attack against IDPs in Cameroon’s Mayo-Sava Department results in at least nine civilian deaths
  • Health officials record 770 hepatitis E cases in Niger’s Diffa Region from January–May

Numbers At A Glance

8.5 million

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

1.9 million

IDPs in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe


IDPs in Niger


IDPs in Cameroon


IDPs in Chad


Nigerian Refugees in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger

Humanitarian Funding

For the Lake Chad Basin Response

USAID/OFDA $124,028,838
USAID/FFP $254,938,366
State/PRM $102,862,524
USAID Nigeria $17,036,443
Total $498,866,171

As of May 28, more than 42,000 people were sheltering in internally displaced person (IDP) sites in Nigeria’s Banki town, located in Borno State along the Cameroon–Nigeria border, according to the UN. In late May, the government of Borno State organized convoys to relocate approximately 3,700 individuals from Banki to Borno’s Pulka town, the UN reports. Recent population influxes to both Banki and Pulka are straining available resources—including shelter, water supply, and health care services—and contributing to increased humanitarian needs. Relief actors are providing rapid, multi-sector support to populations in Banki and Pulka, as well as advocating against additional relocations to Pulka until an appropriate level of basic service provision can be ensured for new arrivals.

On June 5, an attack targeting IDPs in Cameroon’s Mayo-Sava Department resulted in at least nine deaths and wounded approximately 30 people, international media report. The attack prompted a USAID/OFDA partner conducting water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities in Mayo-Sava to increase security measures, although the organization continues to operate in the area.

From January–May, health actors in Niger’s Diffa Region recorded nearly 770 hepatitis E cases, including more than 30 associated deaths, according to the UN. To prevent the spread of hepatitis E, humanitarian agencies are bolstering WASH activities, educating communities on safe sanitation practices, and improving coordination among WASH actors and other stakeholders.

As of May 28, more than 42,000 people were sheltering in IDP sites in Nigeria’s Banki town, located in Bama Local Government Area (LGA), the UN reports. Although relief agencies have not reported additional arrivals from Cameroon to Banki since May 22, humanitarian organizations continue to prepare for potential new arrivals to the town, where access to basic services is already limited. New arrivals have indicated a lack of livelihood opportunities in Cameroon and desire to return to areas of origin in Nigeria to plant ahead of the rainy season as reasons for departing Cameroon, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Government of Nigeria (GoN).

With U.S. Government (USG) support, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR are providing emergency shelter support to displaced populations in response to growing humanitarian needs in Banki. USAID/FFP partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) is conducting food distributions and supplementary feeding programs for children younger than five years of age in the town. Additionally, USAID/OFDA partner the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is distributing WASH kits and other emergency relief commodities, vaccinating new arrivals against infectious diseases and coordinating emergency WASH services in the town.

On June 7, multiple attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants in Borno's capital city of Maiduguri resulted in at least 50 casualties, including 10 deaths. Attackers exchanged gunfire and detonated person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs) in multiple locations in the city, prompting residents to flee to neighboring communities and humanitarian organizations operating in the area to temporarily suspend activities and staff movements.

The UN reports that nearly 1,100 people relocated from Banki to Gwoza LGA’s Pulka town on May 31. Between May 22 and 31, the government of Borno State organized convoys to relocate approximately 3,700 people from Banki to areas of origin in Pulka, straining already limited resources in the area. The recent arrivals bring the population of Pulka to more than 50,000 people, approximately half of whom are sheltering in IDP sites, according to the UN. Some recently returned individuals have found their houses occupied by other displaced persons; the UN anticipates an increase in secondary displacements in Pulka as returning owners demand their houses back.

The population influx to Pulka is increasing demands on limited local water sources in the town, according to WASH actors. In addition to investigating additional water sources, UNICEF is delivering safe drinking water through water trucking, constructing additional latrines in IDP sites, and pre-positioning emergency WASH kits to benefit an estimated 300,000 people in Pulka and surrounding areas.

Relief agencies are also providing emergency food, health care, relief commodity, and shelter support to new arrivals to Pulka. With USAID/OFDA support, IOM is constructing 500 emergency shelters to alleviate overcrowded conditions at a health clinic where approximately 1,600 individuals were sheltering as of June 7, which will allow the clinic to resume functioning as a health care facility; UNHCR is also providing emergency shelter support in Pulka. Additionally, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is providing basic health care services, malnutrition screenings, and measles and polio vaccinations through a mobile health team, while a USAID/OFDA non-governmental organization (NGO) partner recently distributed more than 1,500 hygiene kits to households in Pulka.

The presence of unexploded ordnance (UXO) remains a critical threat to displaced populations returning to areas of origin in northeastern Nigeria, according to an April UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) assessment. The majority of IDPs, refugees, and humanitarian staff remain outside of directly conflict-affected areas and roads. However, the risk of UXO-related casualties will likely increase as displaced populations return to areas of origin and as humanitarian organizations rely more frequently on road convoys to reach returning populations due to limited air transport capacity, according to UNMAS. Following the assessment, UNMAS recommended expanding mine risk awareness activities for IDPs and humanitarian staff, improving information management mechanisms, and scaling up mine clearance activities to mitigate threats associated with UXO. The UN agency is working with the GoN and international humanitarian representatives to address gaps in local technical capacity and coordinate mine clearance activities.

Increased staple food commodity prices, the depreciation of the Nigerian naira, and a seasonal decline in the availability of food items have contributed the rising price of the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) in Borno and Yobe states since December 2016, according to WFP. Between March and April, the cost of the SMEB—the minimum quantity of food required to sustain a household for one month, comprising cow peas, sorghum, palm oil, and other staple foods—increased by 9.1 percent in Borno and by 1.2 percent in Yobe. Increasing food prices coupled with limited household purchasing power may further compromise access to food, particularly for displaced households, in Borno and Yobe, WFP reports.

A USAID/OFDA partner is providing critical health care and WASH assistance to IDPs and other vulnerable populations in Dikwa and Ngala LGAs. From May 15–28, the partner provided health consultations to nearly 4,200 people in Dikwa and Ngala, treating more than 1,200 people for acute respiratory tract infections, acute watery diarrhea, and malaria—the primary causes of morbidity in the two LGAs. The organization also provided reproductive health care services and trained community health workers on basic nursing skills and infection control and prevention techniques.

During the same period, the partner rehabilitated a water access point and installed latrines and showers to benefit individuals sheltering in Dikwa and Ngala IDP camps and distributed nearly 4,400 hygiene kits in both LGAs. With USAID/OFDA support, the organization also conducted community education sessions on gender-based violence, distributed dignity kits, and provided case management and psychosocial support services to conflict-affected individuals in Dikwa and Ngala.

A USAID/OFDA partner is addressing emergency relief commodity, shelter, and WASH needs in eastern Borno. In addition to supporting the WASH needs of newly arrived populations in Banki, the organization recently distributed relief commodity kits to approximately 1,000 households in Bama and Ngala. The partner is also conducting shelter repairs to assist IDPs in Bama, where the organization plans to work in conjunction with relief actors and local communities to identify vulnerable IDP households in need of shelter support.

On June 5, two individuals detonated PBIEDs in Mayo-Sava’s Kolofata village, Far North Region, targeting a tent occupied by IDPs. The attack resulted in the deaths of at least nine people, wounded approximately 30 people, and prompted an estimated 70 people to seek temporary shelter at a nearby mosque. A USAID/OFDA partner conducting WASH activities in Mayo-Sava increased security measures following the attack, but continues to operate in the area.

With support from USAID/OFDA, an NGO is building the capacity of local health care workers in Far North to treat acute malnutrition. In Far North’s Mokolo District, the partner is training physicians, nurses, hygiene and nutrition specialists, translators, and other health facility staff on the prevention and management of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), as well as educating caretakers of children about the prevention and early detection of SAM. The organization also conducted light repairs to a hospital’s therapeutic feeding center, including rehabilitating basic WASH facilities.

In coordination with the Government of the Republic of Cameroon (GoRC), USG partner UNICEF is expanding malnutrition education and screening activities in Far North. The UN agency is training caregivers of young children to identify childhood malnutrition through mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) screenings and plans to distribute approximately 100,000 MUAC tapes to implementing health and nutrition partners to facilitate malnutrition diagnoses in children. Additionally, UNICEF is supporting the GoRC to improve national malnutrition treatment protocols and integrate nutrition activities across various government ministries.

From January–May, health actors in conflict-affected Diffa Region recorded nearly 770 cases of hepatitis E, including at least 33 related deaths. Health agencies reported 540 cases of hepatitis E in May alone, compared to approximately 180 cases in April and 30 cases in March. The substantial increase in recorded cases can be partially attributed to improved surveillance and diagnostic capacity, according to the UN.

In response to the outbreak, a USAID/OFDA partner is supporting a rapid response mechanism to identify and prioritize communities affected by the disease, improve access to safe drinking water, and enhance coordination between WASH actors and the Government of Niger. Additionally, humanitarian agencies are bolstering WASH activities and educating affected communities on safe sanitation practices to prevent the spread of hepatitis E.

With support from USAID/OFDA, IOM is distributing emergency shelter supplies, such as plastic sheeting to reinforce shelters in need of repair, and relief items to IDPs, returnees, and host community members in Diffa. IOM is also supporting humanitarian coordination and information management activities in Niger.

Following escalated violence in northeastern Nigeria, the GoN declared a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states 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 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 USG response to the humanitarian crisis in northeastern Nigeria.