A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
The devastating impact of armed violence around the world is well known. Conflict and armed violence close schools, paralyze neighborhoods, burden health-care services, discourage investment, and make lives less secure. Spending on arms or arms races can divert vital funds from public services such as education and health-care, and when such spending takes place without transparency it can aggrevate corruption. Individually and cumulatively, these impacts undermine sustainable development and internationally agreed targets such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).