Poverty, climate change and violent conflict have impacted lives and livelihoods in the Lake Chad Basin region, negatively impacting millions of people especially women and children. The intensity and expansion of non-state armed groups’ activities since 2009 has led to massive internal and cross-border displacement, destruction of livelihoods, properties, social ties and social fabric, human rights abuses, as well as disruption of government institutions and apparatus, including in the health and education sectors.
Violent conflicts continue to fuel large-scale human suffering in north-east Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon located in the Lake Chad region. In 2018, more than ten million people need lifesaving assistance and protection. Some 2.4 million people are displaced, including 1.7 million internally displaced in north-east Nigeria alone and more than 215,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The combined 2018 humanitarian requirements for the region affected by the crisis total US$ 1.56 billion, including US$ 157 million for the Regional Refugee Response Plan. The needs for early recovery and medium- to long-term development assistance also remain substantial.
Following the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region held in February 2017, at which US$672 million in financial support was pledged for 2017 and beyond, the humanitarian response in the Lake Chad region was scaled up significantly: more than six million people were reached with assistance in 2017, and in north-east Nigeria a famine was averted. At the same time, regional cooperation to address factors driving the crisis was strengthened, including and particularly through the Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad Region, which grew out of the Oslo Conference and provides a strategic platform for discussion on crisis prevention and stabilization in the region. In parallel, important initiatives have been undertaken by the respective governments, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Union and other actors to scale up development-oriented actions by integrating more risk-tolerance, flexibility and innovation in programme design.
Following the first meeting of the Consultative Group in Berlin in September 2017, sub-national actors from the region met in the framework of the “Lake Chad Governors’ Forum” in Maiduguri in May 2018 in order to foster regional cross-border cooperation among decision-makers. The instigated political process is aimed at contributing to the ongoing efforts of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the African Union to develop a full-fledged stabilization strategy for the region.
Strengthening collective efforts among the wide range of actors addressing the complex crisis in the Lake Chad region is a key priority: Humanitarian assistance has saved lives and prevented millions of people from slipping below emergency thresholds, and must be sustained. In order to resolve ongoing conflicts and build peace, political solutions to the crisis need to be found across borders. In parallel, more longer-term development investments are needed to re-establish civilian government presence and services, build resilience2 and address the underlying vulnerabilities and conflict drivers.
Building on the achievements, partnerships, and commitments from the Oslo Conference and its followup processes and consultations, the co-hosts – Germany, Nigeria, Norway, and the United Nations – have decided to organize a second Conference on the Lake Chad region. In addition to humanitarian action, this Conference will aim to promote resilience as well as crisis prevention and stabilization initiatives through cross-border cooperation and sustainable development efforts to meet the longerterm needs of those affected by the crisis.
Agenda and Concept note : download
Photo: WFP/Giulio d’Adamo