In western Africa insurgent and extremist violence has displaced three million people - including 1.4 million children. Many have fled from Nigeria into the brutally dry and harsh region around Lake Chad where the borders of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria all meet.
This massive, almost invisible, conflict has left over nine million people in need of urgent assistance and has forced the already poor citizens of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to host and care for the many tens of thousands of strangers arriving in their communities.
World Vision is scaling up its humanitarian operations, expanding decades of work in Niger and Chad to support the displaced and their hosts. The goal is to initially raise $10M to aid 300,000 vulnerable people in what is already one of the poorest regions of the world. The Lake Chad Basin area is remote, very hard to reach and extremely inhospitable.
Displaced arrivals in these countries are suffering high levels of malnutrition, have witnessed extreme violence, face shortages of the basics, including, food, water and shelter and have poor access to health and sanitation provision.
Children are also suffering from the emotional distress of losing loved ones to violence and being forced to abandon their homes, villages, schools and communities. And the risks are not over. The situation is so desperate that children are at risk from being forced to labour, sell themselves or marry early in order to survive. Most children have now been out of school for months.
Adolescent males arriving have little to do and are at risk of falling under the sway of extremist militants if they are not given opportunities to help their families. Thousands of boys already have been forcibly recruited by extremists and kidnapping has been rife in areas controlled by the militants.