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 year 2008 is halfway to the deadline for reaching the Millennium Development Goals. Despite some progress, they will not be achieved if current trends continue. Aid promises are predicted to be missed by $30bn, at a potential cost of 5 million lives. Starting with the G8 meeting in Japan, rich countries must use a series of high-profile summits in 2008 to make sure the Goals are met, and to tackle both climate change and the current food crisis. Economic woes must not be used as excuses: rich countries’ credibility is on the line.