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Red Cross & Crescent: 'Coping' in Lake Chad Crisis Should Not be Mistaken for Resilience

Survival mechanisms in Nigeria's hungry, insurgency-hit northeast and around Lake Chad should not be confused with longer-term resilience, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said.

Famine has been ongoing since last year in parts of Nigeria where the government is fighting an insurgency by Boko Haram, which has forced millions of people from their homes.

Some 10.7 million people in northeastern Nigeria and around Lake Chad, which has been drying up due to climate change, need humanitarian aid and more than seven million risk starvation, the United Nations says.

Mass displacement has stretched resources and piled pressure on schools, clinics and sanitation systems. People are doing whatever they can to get by - often relying on remittances and pooling resources, said IFRC secretary general Elhadj As Sy.

But there is a mistaken tendency to call the survivors resilient just because they have exhausted their options, he said.

EC/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie

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