Young women learning how to make liquid soap at a training centre supported by Plan International.
Photo: Plan International/Will Ayemoba


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Growing support of the nexus idea can represent considerable obstacles to the work of NGOs. Despite this, Plan International opted for this approach in its Lake Chad Programme. Using the example of child protection and combating gender-based violence, the organisation demonstrates how a full programme spectrum approach can be implemented in practice, what the benefits are, and where the stumbling blocks still lie.

The protracted crisis in the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) region remains one of the most severe humanitarian emergencies in the world, affecting the North East of Nigeria, the Far North region of Cameroon, the Lake region of Chad and the Diffa region in Niger (see Map). More than 17 million people are living in the affected areas across the four countries. A total of 10.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance to survive, more than six million of them are children. The current humanitarian crisis escalated in 2014 due to violence of insurgent groups, notably Boko Haram, and ensuing conflict, resulting in the internal displacement of more than 2.5 million people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad, as well as – according to latest figures of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR – over 270,000 refugees from Nigeria seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries. However, the roots of the crisis are more longstanding and pernicious in a region beset by chronic fragility where poverty, underdevelopment, gender inequality, unemployment and a lack of prospects for young people fuel extremism.

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