The money the family receives from Catholic Relief Services, a Caritas member based in the USA. It covers the rent. Sometimes there’s enough to go towards some rice or millet to eat. The luxuries, like the colorful bracelets Djélika likes, will have to wait.
CADEV, Caritas Niger is working in four camps helping 18,000 Malian refugees. They fled there after rebels seized the north of Mali last year, triggering a flow of refugees in Africa’s Sahel region. Caritas Niger is registering an increase of refuges since the French military intervention in January.
The president of Caritas Mali, Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, has asked for a humanitarian corridor to be opened to help those who have found themselves cut off by the conflict. Caritas is helping families in Mali cover their basic needs by providing food, shelter and help with healthcare and school fees.
The refugees are arriving in semi-desert areas of neighbouring countries, where populations already struggle to cope with lack of food and resources. This wave of people puts huge pressure on the local environment driven by the increased demand for firewood and pasture for livestock.
This year Gaba is fully engaged with the emergency assistance project of Caritas Switzerland and UNAD (Caritas Chad) that helps people from several regions of Chad who are severely affected by the drought. Help is mainly provided in form of food and new seeds.
Balama was a village once located on the shores of Lake Chad, in the east of the county. Since the 1960s, the lake has been greatly reduced. A changing climate and uncontrolled use of water for irrigated agricultures combined with population pressure, has led to the receding of the lake to 10 percent of its original surface.