(Newsroom America) -- Spotlighting the desperate plight of millions in Africa’s Lake Chad basin, the top humanitarian official for the Sahel region called for international solidarity with the people in urgent need.
“I wish I had good news, but I don’t,” said Toby Lanzer, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel on the crisis affecting Lake Chad basin countries, which include Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
“11 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, 7.1 million of them are severely food insecure. [They are] living on the edge – surviving on, if they can, one meal a day,” he noted.
Mr Lanzer added that among them, the situation of children is particularly worrying. Some 515,000 children are severely and acutely malnourished and their lives are at risk if aid does not reach them urgently.
“No government on Earth can do what it takes to confront [these numbers] of severe food insecurity,” he stressed. “This is a clear case where international solidarity with the governments of the region is needed.”
He also noted the peaceful resolution of the political standoff in the Gambia prevented “yet another crisis” in the region, which already has at least 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDP). Fearing violence this past weekend, some 52,000 Gambians fled to Senegal and Guinea Bissau, but are now starting to return.