PRESS INVITE: United Nations Assistant-Secretary General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer - 8 September
WHO? United Nations Assistant-Secretary General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer
WHAT? Press point
WHERE? United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe (UNRIC)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2, 8th floor, Brussels 1040
WHEN? Thursday 08 September 2016 at 09.30 am
HOW? Please register by sending an email to [email protected] before COB on Wednesday 07 September 2016
DETAILS: Now is a better time than ever to save lives and increase development in the Sahel region, including Lake Chad Basin.
The Lake Chad Basin crisis stemming from Boko Haram violence in the area is the fastest growing displacement crisis in Africa. Nearly half of the region’s population, or 9.2 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance. 6.3 million people in the region are facing crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity and need urgent assistance. UN agencies and partner NGOs now have more access to population in need than before and a rapid scale up in operations is needed to be able to meet the growing needs.
Though an estimated 2 million people remain out of reach in areas controlled by Boko Haram, the relative security in Borno and Adamawa allow for humanitarian actors to increase operations.
Around 65,000 people in newly-accessible areas in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno and Yobe states are experiencing famine. Malnutrition and mortality rates are also high, while access to health facilities and humanitarian assistance is limited.
Boko Haram’s long-running violence and military counter-offensives have affected 21 million people across the Lake Chad Basin. The suicide bombings, raids on villages and towns and even displacement camps have uprooted 2.6 million people in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The majority of the displaced has been sheltered by communities who themselves count among the world’s most vulnerable.
In Mali, achievements from the past two years are being challenged and windows of opportunities for aid and development might soon be closed. The crisis in Mali combines conflict violence and climate-related hardships and the overall food security situation, which had improved in the past two years, has worsened during the lean season. Food insecurity is almost reaching levels seen in 2013. There are now an estimated 3 million people under stress, which is almost twice more than last year. Amongst those, almost half a million people are now in critical need of food assistance.
The Kidal region continues to be one of the most challenging areas in terms of delivering humanitarian assistance. Peacekeepers continue to be a target of attacks and, last month, several MINUSMA convoys in the north were subject to IEDs and mines.
In the rest of the Sahel as well, now is a better time than ever to support greater development in most of the region. Humanitarian and relief work carried out for the past three years is bearing fruits. With the outlook of a favourable rainy season for a second year in the row the upcoming months might be the best time to consolidate humanitarian and resilience work and support sustainable development projects in countries like Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, and Mauritania.