Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
The Lake Chad Basin area-- which includes parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon-- is facing one of the most severe humanitarian crises of our time. Already impoverished, the region has been struggling under the negative impact that shifting climate has on living conditions and livelihoods. In addition to the environmental factors that make life challenging, escalating violence in the area has reached a tipping point. To date, at least 2.5 million people in the region have been displaced because of protracted conflict.
Since conditions were already poor and families already struggling to survive, widespread displacement has caused additional problems. For instance, when resources are already scarce, new populations are often unwelcome. Tensions between displaced people and potential host communities make it more difficult to resettle people in the surrounding area.
Because of this ongoing violence and insecurity, families in the area are broadly dependent on humanitarian assistance for survival.
In order to respond to this widespread and growing need, The United Nations has launched the 2019 Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRRP). Week of Compassion partners through ACT Alliance are putting this plan into action. Their participation will bring both immediate relief, and ongoing presence through long range efforts.
ACT Alliance is already active in providing immediate relief, from basic needs to hygiene and sanitation. Beyond providing immediate assistance, they are also working through livelihood interventions and psychosocial supports to foster peace and prevent further conflict between host and refugee populations. Their commitment to long-term presence and recovery means that fewer people will be displaced; and more who have already been displaced will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives and envision a more hopeful future.
Since Week of Compassion first began responding to human suffering 75 years ago, the Church has been present in places like the Lake Chad Basin-- where conditions are unbearable, and the need seems insurmountable. But again and again, where violence and displacement compound issues already facing families in extreme poverty, Week of Compassion shows up to give hope and bring the possibility of new life. Complex crises require multifaceted responses. Through our relationships with partners like ACT Alliance, we are able to respond in short-term, immediate ways; even as we offer ongoing, sustained support for rebuilding lives. Thanks to your generous support, we are able to do that again in a place where the need is tremendous.
In places of such great devastation, there are no easy answers. There is no one program or platform that can provide a complete solution. But with every gift to Week of Compassion, you continue to share hope with God’s people. The issues may be complex, but our response together can be simple: we give. The Church shows up. And life is restored.
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