While attention in the United States is focused on the disasters in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, a crisis across the Atlantic is rapidly becoming one of the worst humanitarian disasters since World War II. In the Lake Chad basin of West Africa, about 17 million people are threatened by extreme food insecurity and widespread violence.
Climate change is feeding poverty, instability, hunger and violence in the Lake Chad basin.
On 13 September, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefed the Security Council on the Secretary-General’s 7 September report on the situation in Lake Chad Basin region (S/2017/764). The Council requested the report in resolution 2349, which it adopted on 31 March following its visiting mission to the Lake Chad Basin in early March.
Rapid population growth can impede efforts to combat poverty, particularly in places where environmental disasters and climate changes damage livelihoods. Lesotho is an example of how fragile the future seems for Africa, large parts of which face the prospect of new famine and, in consequence, further catastrophic displacement within and among their growing populations.
At the 2017 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development from 3 - 4 May, adelphi, in partnership with SIPRI and SEI, convened two sessions on climate change and fragility risks in the Lake Chad region, to discuss the different approaches and next steps for building resilience.
FAO warns that without urgent intervention, 20 million people will starve to death over the next six months in South Sudan, Somalia, north-eastern Nigeria and Yemen. UNICEF reports that 22 million children across these countries “are hungry, sick, displaced and out of school,” mainly because of conflict. Climate change and water insecurity are major challenges to ending hunger and achieving sustainable agriculture, outside of conflict, a primary driver.
Multiple stressors converge on the Lake Chad region. Unemployment, depleting resources, poverty and conflict interact with climate change. Prolonged severe droughts have contributed to a massive shrinking of Lake Chad, a main source of livelihood for millions of inhabitants. The resulting livelihood insecurity and extreme poverty has exacerbated tensions between pastoralists, farmers and fishers. This contributes to the increased risk of recruitment by non-state armed groups such as Boko Haram, engagement in illicit employment, armed conflict and major internal as well as cross-border displacement...