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.
Rick Bauer, shelter expert for international aid agency Oxfam said:
"The goal is to get people back into safe homes as soon as possible. While it's easier to provide water, latrines, food and shelter in an organized camp than in the myriad vacant lots and churchyards where people have taken refuge, we can't lose sight of the need for permanent housing.
"Three things will be needed to make these temporary camps work:
- First, no one should be obliged to move there; the choice must be voluntary.
- Second, the camps must be a real safe haven, with basic public services for all residents, including access to jobs, shops and school.
- Finally, there must be a clear exit strategy. The camps must not become warehouses of people waiting for permanent homes that never materialize."
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