Red Cross seeks coordinated response to humanitarian crisis in Lake Chad region
The crisis, a statement by the Media Officer International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Eleojo Esther Akpa said, has forced hundreds of thousands of people to abandon their belongings and live in host communities or camps, thereby causing additional burden on already vulnerable groups, which has further strained infrastructures.
But the Red Cross, which yesterday began a two-day regional meeting in Abuja with partners like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the National Societies of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, said an improved coordinated effort will mitigate the humanitarian crisis.
According to ICRC’s Head of Operations for Africa, Patricia Danzi, the massive humanitarian crisis with spillover effects on Cameroon, Chad and Niger had uprooted entire communities in all four countries.
“People lack food, water, shelter and medical care. They are also suffering from invisible wounds- psychological trauma-that needs to be tended with sensitivity and compassion,” she noted.
For the President of the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Elder Bolaji Akpan Anani, the outcome of the meeting “will go a long way towards enhancing an efficient and effective response from the Red Cross Movement to the needs of people affected by this crisis,”
“Aid is still not reaching hundreds of thousands of people, however, owing to a shortfall in overall funding. Much more needs to be done to meet the dire needs of the victims of the Lake Chad crisis,” he added.
The Red Cross partners have so far in 2015 come to the aid of more than 500,000 people in the Lake Chad region, who have received food, essential household items, drinking water and medical care.
The Red Cross is also helping separated family members get back into contact.