The Lake Chad Basin Crisis

A country in crisis

Chad is the most underserved country in the Lake Chad Basin when it comes to humanitarian assistance.

Having scored 118 out of 119 on the Global Hunger Index, the situation in Chad is classed as alarming. 87% of the rural population living below the poverty line.

Along with its neighboring countries, Chad has been part of a Multinational Joint Task Force working against Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist group who reject all Western teaching.

But whilst Boko Haram attacks have been increasing in Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon, in 2017 the group’s presence decreased in Chad. This has encouraged the Chadian government to tighten its borders, limiting both refugee movement and humanitarian access.

As of February 2018, it is estimated that 500,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance and 157,000 have been forced from their homes within Chad.

Chad Map with Statistics: Average Life Expectancy : 51 years

Where is Chad?

Map showing Chad's location in Africa, capital N'Djamena, and Lake Chad

Chad is a landlocked country on the edge of some the world’s most violent conflicts.

It shares a border with Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Sudan and Libya.

In the north, you will find the Sahara Desert, an astonishing expanse of dust and flowing sand dunes.

The south is dominated by the Sudanian Savanna – a belt of tropical grassland that stretches from Nigeria to Ethiopia.

The crisis in Chad is complex. As well as the conflict with Boko Haram, Chad is also playing host to Central African and South Sudanese refugees from the east, and Chadian refugees who are returning from the Central African Republic.

How did Shelterbox help?

Carrying aid items across the dry landscape

We worked with international aid agency, ICAHD (International Cooperation Action for Humanitarian Assistance and Development), to support families in Chad. Our work is now complete.

Our main four areas of focus were to:

  • Give families protection from extreme weather and violence
  • Increase safety and security
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Increase social cohesion between host communities and displaced families

We are still working in Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger, where we are supporting families with life-saving aid.

Abdou's Story

When Boko Haram attacked his village in the Lake Chad region, Abdou lost friends, neighbours and his livelihood.

Fearing for their lives, every single person from Abdou’s village fled.

They found refuge in Koulkime Two camp, where Abdou, his wife and three children received ShelterBox aid.

Read the full story of how Abdou’s family have starting putting the pieces of their life back together.

More From the Lake Chad Basin


We’re working in Cameroon, where thousands of families have fled conflict and are now living in Minawao Camp.


Niger is facing five major crises right now. Find out how we’re responding.


The conflict in Nigeria has been going on since 2009. Find out how we’re helping families to recover.