This Is What You Eat When Everyone Is Struggling For Food

The Boko Haram Militant insurgency in northeastern has displaced tens thousands in the Lake Chad region. This stark issue is highlighted in Niger's southeastern city of Diffa, where some 300,000 people — refugees from Nigeria and internally displaced people (IDP) fleeing attacks from Boko Haram within Niger — are living in informal camps, many scattered along the only tarmac road in the region. An estimated three-quarter of Diffa’s population now depends entirely on humanitarian aid to survive. Security, food, water, and mental health care come mostly from NGOs.

Andrew Esiebo spent time in the settlements across Diffa, meeting families who have been forced to leave their villages and settle here. As farmers, they once had sufficient food to provide for themselves. Now, with scarce food and no prospect of jobs to earn and feed themselves, they are depending on donations, making do with what little they can find. Mothers eat their meals only after children — meaning sometimes they go without food.

This is how the people are surviving amid growing food insecurity. (text extract from Monika Mark -Buzzfeed)

Habu Adamu, 37, collects his monthly stipend from an NGO at the informal internally displaced persons camp in Diffa, Niger.


Mashed millet and baobab leaf soup, by Boya Kouloma


Pasta, by Yakawa Bawa Abacha

Yakawa Bawa Abacha lives with her five children and her husband in an informal IDP camp in Diffa. She could hardly afford to make this macaroni meal. Her children often go begging for food at the main market in Diffa so the family has enough to eat.


Mashed rice and baobab leaf soup, by Yakawa Bawa Abacha

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Mixed pasta with sauce, by Falmata Adamu


Falmata Adamu and her husband, Habu Adamu, buy ingredients from a convenience shop at the camp in Diffa. Falmata mainly stays in the camp with her four children while Habu does low-paid jobs, often helping with the construction of tents in the camp.


Rice and chili soup with meat, by Aissa Umaru

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Aissa Umaru and her seven siblings live in a working-class neighborhood of Diffa with their parents. Umaru's father used to be a successful fisherman until he lost his fishing business because of the Boko Haram insurgency

Bean cakes, by Adisa Isa


Adisa Isa came to seek refuge in the Gagamari camp in Diffa with her four children and husband three years ago after Boko Haram attacked their community in Damasak, in northeastern Nigeria.


Pasta from boiled flour, by Fatime Abacha


Fatime Abacha is a social worker in Diffa, where she lives with her child and her husband in a working-class neighborhood.

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