Today, in New York , Cameroon Humanitarian INGO Forum, Civil Society Network of Lac Chad, International Organizations Represented in Niger (IOREN), INGO Forum of Nigeria issued a joint statement ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, requiring UN agencies, donor community and affected governments to give a more concrete response to the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.
Although donors pledged $672 million to avert famine during the “Oslo Humanitarian Conference“, held six months ago, the crisis seems far from being solved. Armed conflict, food shortages, violation of human rights, displacement and inadequate funding are amongst the factors contributing to what has been defined as a “silent emergency”, largely forgotten by world’s media.
In Nigeria roughly 1.8 million people are displaced and 5.2 million are affected by food insecurity. In Niger, the estimated number of people in need as well as of refugees in the neighbouring Cameroon seriously increased this year (respectively from 340,000 to 408,000 and from 251,003 to 325,589).
While recognising the progress recently made, the overmentioned International Non-Governmental Organizations identified eight actions that must be carried out in order to give a more incisive help to affected population:
- Ensure immediate, unimpeded, safe and neutral access to populations in need
- Secure freedom of movement for populations to access assistance and basic services
- Increase food and nutritional support
- Ensure protection and human rights are at the centre of the response
- Enhance existing national coordination systems
- Ensure that all returns are well-informed, voluntary and dignified
- Adequately fund the humanitarian response plans in all Lake Chad Basin countries
- Support the mobilization of national actors.
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