04 May 2017
Edward Kallon, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative, UNDP Nigeria
The Lake Chad basin in Nigeria is on the brink of famine. For seven years, Boko Haram insurgents have descended on communities, driving people from their homes and killing thousands.
The level of destruction is breathtaking. But more shocking is the vulnerable position survivors are in now. There are 5.7 million people in northeast Nigeria in urgent need of food, most of them children. This number will continue to rise unless we act.
Humanitarian aid is reaching those in need, but with the existing funding gap, assistance will soon run out and the lives of millions will be at risk. We must help them now.
This crisis is exposing long-standing vulnerabilities — poverty and exclusion have just made matters worse. Seven out of 10 people lived in extreme poverty even before the crisis began. With the majority of the two million displaced being hosted in communities rather than in formal camps, the crisis has put enormous strain on an already fragile system.
But it is not safe for people to go back home. Their communities are destroyed and members of the militant group Boko Haram are still at large.
Stabilizing communities — both where they are sheltering now and where they …