Lake Chad Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #19 FY2017

July 10, 2017

  • President Trump announces $122 million in additional humanitarian funding to support conflict-affected Nigerians.
  • Government of Nigeria (GoN) and Government of the Republic of Cameroon (GRC) authorities facilitate transport of approximately 900 displaced Nigerians from Cameroon to Nigeria in late June.
  • Armed actors attack civilians across the Lake Chad Basin, including Nigeria’s city of Maiduguri and Cameroon’s Mayo-Sava. Department

Numbers At A Glance

8.5 million

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

1.7 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 $140,598,229
USAID/FFP $364,938,366
State/PRM $111,662,524
USAID Nigeria $17,036,443
Total $634,235,562

On July 8, U.S. President Donald J. Trump announced an additional $639 million in emergency funding to respond to the humanitarian crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. The new funding includes approximately $122 million to support life-saving assistance for displaced and vulnerable Nigerian households in the Lake Chad Basin region. Ongoing conflict in the region has displaced more than 1.9 million Nigerians and reduced household access to food, with an estimated 5.2 million people facing acute food insecurity in northeastern Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.

In late June, Government of Nigeria (GoN) and Government of the Republic of Cameroon (GRC) authorities facilitated transport of approximately 900 displaced people from Cameroon to Nigeria’s Banki town, according to the UN. On June 29, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed concern regarding reports of forced population returns to Nigeria and urged relevant stakeholders to support safe, dignified, and voluntary returns. Relief agencies—including U.S. Government (USG) partners—continue to deliver emergency assistance to populations near the Cameroon–Nigeria border, including recent returnees sheltering in Banki.

Conflict and insecurity across the Lake Chad Basin continue to displace populations and exacerbate humanitarian needs. Suspected Boko Haram militants repeatedly attacked civilians in June and early July, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries. In response to conflict-related humanitarian needs in the region, USG partners are providing emergency health and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions; delivering emergency food and nutrition assistance; and bolstering agricultural production and household incomes where security conditions allow.

Suspected Boko Haram militants conducted approximately 30 attacks in June across the Lake Chad Basin, primarily in Cameroon’s Far North Region near the Cameroon–Nigeria border and Nigeria’s Borno, the UN reports. The security situation in Borno is particularly concerning, as the UN recorded more than double the number of attacks in the state between January and June compared to the incidents reported during the same period in 2016. In Cameroon, increased attacks have prompted authorities to implement additional security measures and restrict civilian movements.

On June 27, approximately 900 Nigerian returnees arrived in Banki, having traveled to Nigeria from Cameroon’s Kolofata town with assistance from GoN and GRC authorities, UNHCR reports. In a June 29 statement, UNHCR expressed concern regarding recent reports of forced returns, emphasizing that current humanitarian conditions in northeastern Nigeria are not conducive to safe and sustainable returns.

An estimated 5.6 million children in the Lake Chad Basin face increased risk of contracting waterborne diseases, including cholera, during the May-to-October rainy season, according to the UN. In addition, regional insecurity and increased population movement, particularly in northeastern Nigeria, could exacerbate humanitarian needs associated with potential disease outbreaks. Furthermore, flooding and restricted road access will likely limit humanitarian operations in some remote areas over the coming months.

In May, USAID/FFP partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) provided in-kind food and cash-based assistance to more than 1.8 million people across the Lake Chad Basin. The May beneficiaries represent approximately 90 percent of the target population and a 6 percent increase compared to the people reached in April. WFP attributes the increase to food distributions in previously inaccessible areas of Nigeria’s Borno, as well as additional deliveries of nutrition supplements for vulnerable children in Cameroon’s Far North. In June, WFP aimed to deliver emergency food assistance to approximately 2.2 million people in the Lake Chad Basin.

On June 25, suspected Boko Haram militants conducted multiple attacks near Borno’s city of Maiduguri, resulting in at least 10 deaths and injuring more than a dozen people, international media reported. An additional attack occurred on June 27 near the University of Maiduguri, where the assailant used an improvised explosive device; no civilian casualties occurred during the incident. On June 27, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the recent violence, which followed multiple attacks near Maiduguri—including at the Dalori internally displaced person (IDP) settlement— in early and mid-June that resulted in at least 26 deaths.

A WFP rapid needs assessment in June found that approximately 74 percent of displaced households in Borno’s Banki, Gwoza, and Pulka towns identified food as the highest priority need. Surveyed populations in Banki noted inadequate access to food in the town, with approximately 73 percent of households reporting poor levels of food consumption. Overall, newly arrived IDPs in each town reported worse food consumption levels compared to other displaced populations, according to the assessment. In addition, approximately 61 percent of households reported engaging in negative coping mechanisms, such as selling livestock and other assets, to meet household food needs. The assessment also found that military operations and resultant movement restrictions have negatively affected livelihood opportunities for IDPs, limiting household purchasing power and restricting access to food.

USAID/FFP recently provided an additional $110 million to support emergency food and nutrition assistance— including in-kind food, cash transfers, and nutrient-enriched foods—for conflict-affected populations in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. The assistance aims to improve access to food among IDPs, returnees, and host communities during the peak of the June-to-September lean season, when food needs are most acute. The funding will also support treatment of acutely-malnourished people and help prevent deterioration of nutrition conditions among vulnerable children and pregnant and lactating women.

In response to high malnutrition prevalence in northeastern Nigeria, USAID partners continue to support emergency nutrition interventions, including deliveries of nutrition supplements and acute malnutrition screenings. In May, USAID/FFP partners screened nearly 33,000 children for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Borno and Yobe. Following nutrition screenings, USAID/FFP partners provide counseling to caregivers of children facing MAM and refer children experiencing SAM to stabilization centers for immediate treatment. To date in FY 2017, USAID/FFP has provided more than $13 million to support emergency nutrition interventions and delivery of nutrient-enriched commodities to prevent acute malnutrition and treat people experiencing MAM or SAM, including children younger than five years of age and pregnant and lactating women. In addition, 10 USAID/OFDA partners—with nearly $9.5 million in FY 2017 funding—are delivering life-saving nutrition interventions across northeastern Nigeria.

From June 11–25, a USAID/OFDA partner provided health consultations to nearly 4,000 people in Borno’s Dikwa and Ngala local government areas (LGAs). The non-governmental organization (NGO) also treated approximately 140 people in Dikwa for malaria—the leading cause of morbidity in the LGA—and treated more than 460 people in Ngala for acute respiratory tract infections and acute watery diarrhea. In addition, the USAID/OFDA partner identified five suspected cases of hepatitis E in Ngala, referring the patients to clinics for treatment, while providing reproductive health care services to nearly 300 women in the two LGAs.

During the same period, the USAID/OFDA partner reached approximately 2,700 people in Ngala with hand-washing and other hygiene awareness messaging and distributed 2,400 hygiene kits to displaced households in Dikwa and Ngala. The NGO is also rehabilitating water points, installing latrines and showers, and conducting community-led sanitation campaigns at IDP settlements in the LGAs. In addition, the relief organization—with USAID/OFDA support—is conducting community education sessions on gender-based violence, distributing dignity kits, and providing psychosocial support to vulnerable populations in Dikwa and Ngala.

From July 1–5, armed actors in Far North’s Mayo-Sava Department attacked three communities near the Cameroon– Nigeria border, resulting in at least 11 deaths and displacing an estimated 100 people, international media reported. The early July attacks follow an increase in security incidents in Far North during May and June, according to the UN. On June 21, armed actors attacked the department’s Kolofata town, resulting in at least 11 deaths and injuring nine people. The incident—the tenth in Mayo-Sava in June—prompted some UN agencies and NGOs to suspend operations in the area. Ongoing insecurity, including attacks against civilians and repeated use of improved explosive devices, have exacerbated humanitarian needs and impeded relief operations in the region.

Since April, relief actors have reported significant population movement in Kolofata due to the increased presence of armed actors and military operations in the area, the UN reported. An estimated 24,000 IDPs were sheltering in the town as of June, an increase of more than 17,100 people compared to the approximately 6,900 IDPs in Kolofata as of March. Relief actors have identified food, shelter, and health assistance as priority interventions for displaced populations in the town.

More than 146,000 people—including IDPs, Nigerian refugees, and host community members—are facing acute food insecurity in Chad’s Lac Region, according to the UN. Ongoing insecurity and the onset of the lean season are expected to result in depleted food stocks and reduced household food consumption, with vulnerable populations facing Crisis—IPC 3—levels of acute food insecurity through at least September, according to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET). Between October 2017 and January 2018, FEWS NET projects that food security will moderately improve in the region due to near-average harvest yields; however, continued population displacement will likely result in below-average household food consumption and Stressed—IPC 2—levels of acute food insecurity.

In response to acute humanitarian needs in Lac, relief agencies—including USAID partners—are delivering emergency food assistance and other humanitarian assistance to displaced and vulnerable populations in the region. To date in FY 2017, USAID/FFP has provided nearly $8 million to support WFP emergency operations in Lac. In addition, USAID/OFDA has provided approximately $500,000 in FY 2017 funding to the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) to improve humanitarian access in hard-to-reach areas of the region. Throughout the humanitarian emergency, UNHAS has consistently provided flights to Lac’s Bol town three times per week, as road transport is often constrained by poor infrastructure, ongoing insecurity, and recurrent flooding. UNHAS is considering establishing regular flights to Lac’s Baga-Sola town to improve humanitarian access to populations in need near the town.

Suspected Boko Haram militants continue to attack and abduct civilians in Niger’s conflict-affected Diffa Region. On July 2, armed actors attacked a village near Diffa town, killing at least nine people and abducting up to 40 individuals, international media reported. In Diffa’s Kabelawa IDP site, two individuals detonated improvised explosive devices on June 28, resulting in the deaths of at least two IDPs and injuring at least 11 people, UNHCR reports. As of late June, approximately 10,000 IDPs were sheltering in Kabelawa, while an additional 6,000 IDPs were sheltering in areas adjacent to the settlement. In conjunction with local officials, UNHCR and other humanitarian actors are exploring options for relocating IDPs in Kabelawa to a more secure site.

Insecurity in Diffa continues to disrupt markets and livelihood activities—including fishing and sale of crops and livestock—among vulnerable populations, with Crisis levels of acute food insecurity expected through at least January 2018, according to FEWS NET. Relief actors report that sustained humanitarian assistance in the coming months is critical to avoid further depletion of household food stocks, particularly in less accessible or inaccessible areas.

In response to humanitarian needs in Diffa, USAID/FFP partners continue to deliver emergency food and nutrition assistance to Nigerian refugees, IDPs, and host communities in the region. With approximately $15 million in FY 2017 funding, USAID/FFP partner WFP is providing locally procured food and cash-based transfers, where markets are functioning.

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, 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.