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West Africa Crisis Appeal

Ongoing conflict across West Africa has forced more than 2.6 million people to flee terrifying violence in Nigeria, Niger and Chad. Having left everything behind, these desperate families now face new dangers - hunger, malnutrition and disease.

Oxfam is there, providing life-saving support to the people who need us most - but the scale of this crisis means we urgently need your help to do more.

Millions of people face hunger.

You can help: Donate now 

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Ibrahim Dung/Oxfam

The situation

A desperate humanitarian crisis is growing in parts of West Africa as a result of the ongoing conflict with Boko Haram and the military operations to counter them. The violence has spread from north-east Nigeria into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon forcing 2.6 million people to flee their homes and leaving over nine million people in need of emergency aid. Unable to grow or buy food, or get to humanitarian aid, millions are going hungry. Thousands of people are estimated to have died already.

There have been alarming levels of sexual violence, human rights abuses and forced recruitment, even of young children. Governments need to provide greater protection for civilians in order to prevent abuse and exploitation.

The security situation remains fragile and violence continues making it difficult for Oxfam and other agencies to get help to all the people who need it. 

In the longer term, there is a need to address the causes of the Boko Haram conflict and find a comprehensive solution to the crisis.

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A group of women walking in the Assaga camp. Around 2.6 million people have been forced to flee their homes 

Vincent Tremeau, Oxfam

Oxfam's response

Oxfam is providing life-saving support in Nigeria, Niger and Chad to people who have fled their home and to the communities in which they are taking shelter. We are providing people with desperately needed food as well as clean drinking water and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease.

Oxfam has supported over 250,000 people since we began responding to the crisis in Nigeria in May 2014. We are now working in three out of the four affected states. Oxfam plans to reach over 1.5 million people.

In Nigeria, Oxfam is working in Adamawa, Borno, and Gombe states, providing people with emergency food support, clean water and better sanitation, including constructing showers and repairing toilets, and making sure people have areas to wash their hands. We have set up community protection groups for women to give them information about access to support facilities if they have suffered from sexual violence and exploitation. We are distributing food and cooking equipment, as well as providing seeds and tools to help traders and farmers get back on their feet.

In the Diffa region in Niger an estimated 460,000 people have been affected by the conflict. Diffa borders Borno in Nigeria and people affected include Nigerian refugees, people who are fleeing their villages, and the communities that shelter them. People have seen their homes ruined, their lives completely disrupted. Children aren't going to school, and people can't find enough food. Oxfam has helped over 31,400 people since our emergency response began in 2015.

We are installing water systems to make sure people have clean water to drink, as well as distributing essential items such as cooking pots, buckets and water purifying tablets. Elsewhere in Niger there has been massive flooding, and in some regions where the lean season - the time when people are at the end of their food until the next harvest comes - there is desperate hunger.

Oxfam has recently started responding to the crisis in Chad, with the aim to reach over 30,000 people. Nearly 260,000 people are in need of aid, both refugees and people forced to flee within Chad itself. Oxfam will distribute cash and tarpaulins for shelter, and provide clean water to people, to help prevent the spread of diseases.

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We are providing people with food as well as clean drinking water and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease. This is an Oxfam water tank in the Kabbar Maila Host Community, Nigeria.

Ibrahim Dung, Oxfam

Other ways to help