The Lake Chad Basin Crisis

Food insecurity. Acute malnutrition. Epidemics. Disasters. Forced displacement.

It’s hard to imagine a situation much worse than what Niger is facing right now.

Not only is Niger in the midst of five major crises, but it is also vulnerable to cross-border attacks from Boko Haram, whose fighters periodically target refugee camps in Niger.

Attacks have led to massive population movements, as many families have been forced to leave their homes in search of shelter; somewhere where they can feel safe.

We’ve worked in Diffa, a region of Niger that shares a border with Nigeria.

Half of the population there live on less than $1.25 a day. Malnutrition rates are among the highest in Africa – but now local families are sharing their limited food stocks with refugees.

To make matters worse, Boko Haram attacks had reached Diffa town itself, meaning those who had been hosting refugees from Nigeria are were then fleeing their own homes too.

Where is Niger?

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa. It is almost completely covered by the Saharan desert.

It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north, and Chad to the east.

In recent years, Niger has received thousands of refugees from both Nigeria and Mali. Families from Nigeria are fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency, whilst families from Mali have been escaping political instability.

Today the crisis has become more complex, with extreme poverty, underdevelopment and climate change adding to the violence that has forced millions of people from their homes.

Millions in the Lake Chad Basin are in extreme hardship and dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.


We’ve provided emergency shelter for families in Niger who had been forced from their homes.

Working in partnership with Plan International we’ve delivered life-saving aid to families in desperate need. Items like tents, tarpaulins, shelter kits, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, water carriers, solar lights and blankets were all crucial for families who have fled their homes.

We started work in Niger in 2015 and have helped over 11,000 families in the Lake Chad Basin. That includes our crucial work in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon too.

Rosalie and others gathering water, an essntial task that is delegated to female refugees 75% of the time

When families have been forced to run from conflict and terror, they arrive at displacement camps with nothing.

Every aid item we can provide will help to rebuild a small part of their lives.

This is the aid we were waiting for. I want to send my gratitude to ShelterBox and their supporters.

Rosalie, Lake Chad Basin

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.


Half a million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Chad. See how we’ve helped.


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