How Boko Haram Spreads Hunger Beyond Nigeria’s Borders

In Cameroon, hundreds of thousands of displaced people are at risk of starving after years of conflict with Islamist militants.
Al Hadji Dalla, a 25-year-old Nigerian refugee living in Minawao, in the extreme north of Cameroon, collects water from a hole in a dry riverbed. He fled Nigeria four years ago and has been collecting water here every day for the last two years. A changing climate means Cameroon's rainy season falls two months shorter, making the struggle for water even harder.
Cameroon Source: Chris de Bode/Panos for British Red Cross

“You infidel, come out! Your days are numbered!”

Cradling her baby daughter outside her home in the Minawao refugee camp, Maryam repeats the words Boko Haram fighters shouted at her husband when they arrived in the northeast Nigerian village of Djogode, in 2014. As Christians—her husband is a pastor—Maryam and her family were prime targets for the Islamist militant organization, which has terrorized northeastern Nigeria and neighboring countries since 2009. Her family fled the same day, after fighters set fire to a church and murdered a fellow pastor in Djogode, she says.

Maryam is one of 61,000 Nigerian refugees in the Minawao camp outside the city of Mokolo, in Cameroon’s Extreme North region, around 15 miles east of the Nigerian border. Mokolo is only 40 miles from the Nigerian village of Chibok, where more than 270 girls were abducted from their school by Boko Haram fighters in 2014. That event drew short-lived international attention as a stark example of the group

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