The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Friday solicited support for the over 3.4 million people affected and displaced by the flooding across west and central African countries.
The UNHCR made the call amid the worst floods in a decade, which have swept across Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Cameroon.
Ms. Olga Sarrado, UNHCR spokesperson said that hundreds of people had died in Nigeria, where floodwaters in the northeast swept through sites for internally displaced people and host communities in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe States.
According to Sarrado, the temperatures in the Sahel were also rising 1.5 times faster than the global average:
The climate crisis is happening now – destroying livelihoods, disrupting food security, aggravating conflicts over scarce resources, and driving displacement, she told journalists at a news conference in Geneva.
In Nigeria, no fewer than 1.3 million people have been displaced and 2.8 million have been impacted by flooding, with farmlands and roads submerged.
Above-average rains and flooding have killed hundreds, displaced thousands, and decimated over one million hectares of cropland in Central Sahel countries like Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.
Countries and communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis need urgent support and financing to build defenses, to adapt, and minimize the most harmful consequences.
The UNHCR has appealed to all donors for urgent support, as its humanitarian operations are “dangerously and chronically underfunded” so as to help those in need in West and Central Africa,.
In Chad, only 43 percent of the funds UNHCR needs in 2022 have been received. Our 2022 operations in Burkina Faso are just 42 percent funded.
With less than two months left, we have received 39 percent of the funds needed in Nigeria and 53 percent in Niger, Sarrado said.
According to her, beyond the Sahel, we are witnessing the worst drought in 40 years and the threat of famine in the Horn of Africa, a devastating cyclone season in Mozambique, and historic floods for a fourth consecutive year in South Sudan and Sudan.