Providing Assistance to Refugees Fleeing Conflict in Lake Chad Region


Thousands of people displaced by violence in Nigeria have been forced to flee more fighting on the islands of Lake Chad in Niger. Tens of thousands have arrived in towns near the lake, while several thousand more are returning to Borno state in their home country. Some 1,200 refugees have returned to Nigeria so far, and a total of 4,000 are expected. Most are women, children, and the elderly. Twenty-five percent are under five years old.

The Nigeria State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) of Borno state established a camp for these returnees on May 9. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) set up a health point in the camp to provide medical consultations, including consultations for pregnant women and screening and treatment for malnutrition in children under five years old. In collaboration with SEMA, MSF is also setting up water tanks and water distribution points in the camp. The amount of available water will be increased in accordance with the population size.

MSF is also increasing its other activities in Borno state to provide assistance to the growing number of people displaced by violence there, providing health care services, shelter, and water and sanitation systems. MSF also set up a 72-bed hospitalization unit in Maimusari health center in Maiduguri town, the state capital, to provide health services to 100,0000 people, most of whom were displaced by fighting. 

MSF is also providing assistance to Nigerian refugees in Niger.

In recent days, 1,300 Nigerians were evacuated from Lake Chad (where they had taken refuge after fleeing the conflict in the northeast of the country). These departures are following major ongoing clashes on the islands of Lake Chad, Niger side. These thousands of refugees are the first returns on Borno State - northeast of Nigeria - more are expected in the coming days. MSF initiates emergency assistance for these people.