Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller has urged the Government of Cameroon and the international community to redouble humanitarian aid efforts in the Lake Chad Basin amid growing insecurity in the area
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Ursula Mueller has urged the Government of Cameroon and the international community to redouble humanitarian aid efforts in the Lake Chad Basin amid growing insecurity in the area.
On a four-day visit to Cameroon, Mueller said that the Lake Chad crisis, sparked by the Boko Haram insurgency, was far from over and region-wide violence continued.
The senior United Nations relief official met with the Minister of External Relations and Governor of the Far North in February 2018 and visited the Zamai internally displaced people site and Minawao refugee camp.
Having seen the deteriorating security situation, Mueller urged for greater attention to be paid to the Lake Chad region, including from donors.
Currently, only 5% of the $305 million required for the UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan has been received.
The UN aid official also reiterated the UN’s deep concern for the situation in the central African country and the organisation’s call for all parties to protect civilians and avoid a further escalation of violence.
Her visit also provided the opportunity to discuss other crises facing Cameroon, due to socio-political tensions in the northwest and southwest regions and an increased refugee influx from the Central African Republic.
In Cameroon, 3.3 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance, and in the Far North 1.5 million now struggle with food insecurity at emergency levels.
The Lake Chad Basin region is the most affected by the Boko Haram violence, which began 9 years ago in Nigeria’s northeast.
In 2017 in the Far North, there were more than 60 suicide attacks carried out, a 50% increase on 2016.
Deputy Relief Coordinator Mueller said in a statement following the visit: “We need to be able to provide food, water and other life-saving assistance, as well as protection, to women and men.
“The response to increased forced recruitment and violent attacks should also be increased solidarity with those affected by crises.
“Security and access are major challenges but the lack of funding remains, by far, the main impediment to humanitarian aid reaching those most in need.
“Further fact-finding missions will be taking place as early as next week and we are putting into place assistance to the internally displaced persons, who are estimated in the tens of thousands.”