2017 showed that famine could be averted in Nigeria, in part thanks to the success of the Oslo Conference in ensuring the humanitarian funding needed to tackle extreme hunger. However, the food security and nutrition situation remains extremely fragile across the four countries, exacerbated by cycles of disease outbreaks such as cholera and Hepatitis E. Without maintaining and expanding food and livelihood assistance, it is estimated that nearly four million people in Nigeria will become critically food insecure in the lean season of 2018. Two million people are already food insecure across Cameroon, Niger and Chad. Over half a million children already suffer from malnutrition, most of them in northeast Nigeria, with no sign of that rate decreasing.
In the past year, humanitarian actors were able to expand their reach and delivery of assistance, but barriers to movement remain in many places, preventing assistance from reaching hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people. An estimated 930,000 people remain hard to reach by international humanitarian actors in north east Nigeria. Obstacles include insecurity, restrictions by authorities and logistical challenges. These have left people in large parts of northeast Nigeria, most of the islands of the Lake in Chad, and some areas in Niger without access to the aid they need.
The Lake Chad crisis is far from being resolved, and the situation requires increased political and financial attention from the governments of region and the international community. Lives and livelihoods are at stake and more must be done to meet the basic needs and ensure the safety and dignity of vulnerable women, men and children.