The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said women in the Lake Chad basin have been forced to prostitute to survive, and attributed the development to Boko Haram insurgency, which drove millions from their homes and left children to starve.
“It is extraordinary to see a woman and her family and they have nothing other than what they have been given. “The children are clearly malnourished and it is just hopeless,’’ Simon Brooks, head of ICRC’s delegation in Cameroon, said.
According to Brooks, as the head of their households, some mothers were forced to prostitute so they could feed their family, since many no longer have husbands, because of the conflict.
“When you don’t have the means to survive, you’ll go begging for it. It’s loss of dignity when you’re having to resort to something like that just to keep your children alive – fraternising with people who have money,’’ he said. The unfolding catastrophe in the Lake Chad basin was named the most neglected crisis of 2016 in a poll of aid agencies by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“Overshadowed by the wars in Syria and Iraq and the global refugee and migrant crisis, Lake Chad has barely made the headlines,’’ Brooks said in an interview in London.
The report said over seven million people lack food “but insecurity makes it hard for aid agencies to reach the most vulnerable.
“This area has suffered from decades of chronic neglect … if it continues to be under-funded and under-reported, then, millions of people will continue to suffer,’’ Brooks said.