Not enough aid to go around
For Maryam, like the almost two million others forced to leave their homes in the region, the only significant change with the advent of the dry season is an increase in violence and insecurity, making them even more vulnerable.
As well as losing their homes, many have lost family members and survived violent attacks.
Confined to camps, their prospects are extremely limited, and they are dependent on aid to survive.
“People have been stranded in camps for years,” says Luis Eguiluz, MSF’s head of mission in Nigeria. “They have limited freedom of movement outside the camps, which prevents them providing for themselves, and they have little prospect of returning home because of the continuing conflict.”
Despite people’s dependence on aid in the camps, there is often not enough to go around.
“Humanitarian assistance is insufficient and does not cover all of their needs in terms of health, water, shelter and protection,” says Eguiluz.
“In Gwoza, we have seen food distributions being reduced; in Pulka, the water supply is inadequate, and 4,000 people are in a transit camp waiting to be allotted shelters. It’s the same in Bama, where newly arrived people have at times been sleeping under trees or sharing communal shelters with 70 other people for months on end.”