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Updated On: Monday, 24 September 2018

Deputy Relief Coordinator Concludes African Tour

Content by: South-South News

2 March 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — The UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ursula Mueller, concluded an official visit to Africa with a stop in Chad. The tour took her to the Central African Republic (CAR), Cameroon, and Chad from February 18 to 27.

The purpose of her mission was to see, first-hand, the devastating humanitarian consequences of the ongoing violence affecting CAR and the Lake Chad Basin. In Chad, she has met with the Prime Minister, as well as the newly appointed Governor of the Lac region. She travelled to Bol and met internally displaced persons in Brim and Yakoua.

“Here I have seen the regional impact of the Boko Haram crisis and the violence of other armed groups,” she said, “Here in Yakoua IDP camp, some 137,000 people have fled to find shelter and are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance… These people are finding shelter here right now because if they go back they face violence.”

The crisis in the Lake Chad basin affects nearly 500,000 people in the Lac region of Chad including 137,000 displaced people, who are particularly vulnerable. The closure of the border with Nigeria from the beginning of the crisis in 2015 and the continued implementation of emergency measures have also affected the livelihoods of local populations already facing poor regional development, thus aggravating their vulnerability.

Mueller added, “We are here in an area close to Lake Chad which is potentially a fertile area. So, it is necessary that we move from providing humanitarian assistance to recovery, that people start rebuilding their lives. We appeal to the Government to provide also durable solutions to the people as long as they are here; or to the international community to start providing development assistance, to provide the boats and the nets so that they can go fishing and feed themselves.”

The crisis in the Lac region unfolds against a wider backdrop of recurrent food and malnutrition crises and entrenched poverty throughout Chad. Countrywide, close to 4 million people need emergency food assistance while over 200,000 children under five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition.

 

In 2018, the UN and its partners need $544 million to provide emergency aid to 1.9 million people who are the most vulnerable in the country. To date, only 3.7 per cent have been met.

Humanitarian needs stretch far beyond the Lac region. Chad is home to more than half-a-million people who have had to flee violence and conflict. There are about 634,000 people displaced in Chad, including 102,000 internally displaced populations and 320,000 refugees who have fled insecurity in Sudan (since 2003), at least 75,000 refugees from the Central African Republic (since 2003 and 2014) and 9,000 Nigerian refugees (since 2015). Given the level of insecurity in their areas of origin, their return prospects are slim. It is therefore necessary to promote sustainable solutions, including their socio-economic integration into host communities.

Chad is the first refugee host country in Africa in relation to its population. Despite surrounding conflicts and an unprecedented economic crisis, aggravated by the closure of three of its borders, Chad has remained relatively stable. Chad has the second highest level of food insecurity worldwide and the number of children under 5 years old suffering from malnutrition is alarming. Current seasonal deterioration of food security indicators reflects extreme vulnerability in the country.

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