Rising conflict and poverty are driving massive displacement across the Sahel region where millions of people are still reeling from last year’s food crisis, the UN said on Wednesday.
At least 4.2 million people are currently displaced in the Sahel – one million more than in 2018, the UN said.
The increase in forced displacement was due to escalating armed violence in parts of Mali, across the Lake Chad Basin and the border region of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, according to the report.
Worst affected is the Lake Chad Basin region, with 2.7 million people uprooted from their homes, the UN added.
“Food insecurity and malnutrition, fuelled by poverty, climate shocks and conflict, continue stalking the Sahel region,” said Abdou Dieng, Regional Director for the UN World Food Programme in West and Central Africa.
According to the UN, food security of millions of families remains fragile in the wake of a severe drought that decimated pasture, livestock, and crops in 2018.
It projected that 9.5 million people will be critically food insecure in the 2019 lean season between June and August.