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The Humanitarian Coordinator in Chad is concerned by the situation of populations affected by the crisis in the Lake region

By Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
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The Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Coordinator (HC/RC) of the United Nations in Chad, M. Stephen Tull, visited the Lake Chad region on 7 December. This mission was organized as part of a United Nations inter-Agency mission, and aimed at improving the coherence and effectiveness between humanitarian interventions and activities to support development in the area.

The Humanitarian Coordinator met with affected people of Baga-Sola in Dar-es-Salam refugee camp, in Kafia site (hosting internally displaced persons), and with local authorities. At present, over 53,000 internally displaced persons who fled the Lake's islands are still living in precarious conditions in about 15 sites located in and around the towns of Bol and Baga-Sola, and in the areas of Daboua, Liwa, and Ngouboua. To address the humanitarian needs of the people of the Lake region, some US$22.5 million have already been mobilized, which represents 38% of the total amount required. Since July 2015, most displaced people have received at least a one-month food ration. Latrines and boreholes which were built are covering 45% of water needs, and 23% of sanitation. Shelters, essential household items and school kits have also been distributed. Moreover, access to healthcare is facilitated through mobile clinics and support to local health and nutrition centres. Despite these efforts people affected by the crisis still need food, drinking water, shelter, health care, protection and education. “A rapid funding of assistance is necessary to avoid a degradation of the situation, in a context of chronic drought and drying of Lake Chad, which impact on the peoples'livelihoods”, declared Stephen Tull. He also called on donors to support the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), a vital lifeline to strengthen operations capacities. According to Stephen Tull, “The situation in the Lake shows that it is essential to integrate humanitarian action and development, in support of the Government”. This crisis struck in a general context of chronic vulnerability, affecting the livelihoods of local and displaced people — the majority of whom are fishermen, farmers, and pastoralists (limitation of exportations, restrictions on fishing activities etc.) At the end of his visit, M. Tull spoke about the recent attacks which hit Koulfoua island on 5 December, killing over 30 people and wounding at least 120 others. “It is a massive violation of Human rights and of international humanitarian law. We express all our sympathy and condolences to the victims and affected communities”, he said. This mission was the first field visit of the HC/RC since he took office in Chad some weeks ago. The mission included a team composed of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Food Programme (WFP).