The United Nations (UN) says more than nine million people living in the Lake Chad region are in dire need of food aid, blaming the Boko Haram Takfiri terrorist group for triggering the unrest in the area.
In a statement released on Monday, the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said half of the region’s residents are facing “chronic food insecurity” and malnutrition as the violence around Lake Chad “continues to deteriorate.”
“Fighting has catastrophically worsened their vulnerability,” the statement noted, saying the Boko Haram terrorist group is to blame for “the largest crisis of displaced people in Africa.”
According to the UN, more than 2.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the violence in the region which has claimed more than 20,000 lives.
In recent months, Boko Haram terrorists, who hail from Nigeria, have stepped up attacks and bombings on Chadian villages in the Lake Chad region as well as neighboring Niger and Cameroon.
In November last year, Chad declared a state of emergency in the flashpoint Lake region, which straddles Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger.
Regional countries have created a joint military force that plays a key role in helping Nigeria fight the terrorist group. Back in February, the four littoral nations of Lake Chad launched a military campaign, together with a contingent from Benin, to confront the threat from Boko Haram militants in the region.
Chad has the highest number of forces in the regional 8,700-strong military task force.
The Boko Haram terrorist group, which has pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri militant group, has killed thousands of people, mostly civilians, since it launched its terrorist activities in Nigeria in 2009.
The Takfiri militant group has intensified its campaign of terror since President Mohammadu Buhari came to power in the African country in May 2015.