About the Crisis
Years of conflict have created an enormous humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad Region, where Boko Haram attacks have driven families from their homes—creating one of the largest displacement crises in Africa—and left millions without enough to eat.
Recent military gains and improved security conditions have exposed the severity of the crisis as humanitarian actors reach newly accessible communities. The United Nations estimates that about 10.7 million people are in need of assistance throughout the Lake Chad Region, with more than 5 million people in northeast Nigeria facing severe food insecurity, many of whom are experiencing or are at risk of famine-like conditions. However, large areas remain out of reach to humanitarian actors due to ongoing insecurity, and relief actors are concerned that inaccessible populations could be in even worse shape.
Despite continuing violence and insecurity, international humanitarian actors are on the ground, bravely delivering food assistance, nutritional support, shelter, health services, emergency water and sanitation, protection, and more, to those who need it most across the Lake Chad Region.
How You Can Help
When disasters occur anywhere in the world, Americans generously offer assistance to those in need. Decades of experience in disaster relief and recovery have shown that the best way to help people affected by disaster is to make cash donations to reputable relief and charitable organizations on the ground. These groups work closely with affected communities, know what people need and how to strengthen recovery efforts.
Cash donations are the most efficient form of assistance. Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods. Cash donations also allow relief supplies to be purchased in markets close to the disaster site, which stimulates the local economy by providing employment and generating cash flow.
Organizations listed on the resources below are experienced and are participating directly in relief efforts. If you would like to know more about organizations you are considering for support, you can find detailed financial and programmatic information at: GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau.
About USAID CIDI
USAID created the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) in 1988 one month after Hurricane Gilbert made landfall as a Category 5 storm that affected 10 countries. An outpouring of unsolicited donations took up space needed to stage and deliver life-saving relief supplies, and USAID and other responders spent valuable time managing unneeded clothing, expired medicine, and other non-critical items. USAID established the Center to educate the public about the advantages of giving monetary donations to relief organizations and the downside of donating unsolicited material goods www.cidi.org. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s humanitarian assistance efforts overseas, responding to an average of 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year. Learn More About USAID/OFDA