Lake Chad is Humanitarian Crisis, Harmed by Factors Including Climate Change

West Africa's Lake Chad region is the world's most neglected humanitarian crisis, where poverty and desertification have been compounded by violence caused by Boko Haram, the U.N. aid chief said on Tuesday at the World Humanitarian Summit.

The gap between the suffering and the humanitarian response may be bigger than in Syria, Iraq or Yemen, a senior Red Cross official said.

Violence has forced more than 2.4 million people to flee their homes in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, according to the United Nations. Many families have been displaced several times. Up to 90 percent are sheltering in host communities.

Both the displaced and their hosts need emergency aid where farming has been curtailed by the violence, deepening food shortages and hunger, U.N. officials said.

More than 480,000 children could die unless they urgently receive food aid, they added.

"Lake Chad Basin ... at this stage is the most under reported, the most underfunded and the least addressed of the big crises we face," U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien said.

Climate change and lack of resources have already caused terrible suffering, and this has been compounded by the brutality wreaked by Boko Haram, he added.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-humanitarian-summit-lake-chad-idUSKCN0YF2UV

NASA Johnson

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