- Conference highlights the regional dimension of the Lake Chad crisis, the crucial role of local actors, cross-border cooperation and ownership at all levels
- Donors announce US$2.17 billion to support humanitarian, peacebuilding and development activities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria; multilateral financial institutions announce US$ 467 million in concessional loans
- Stakeholders commit to address the immediate and longer-term needs and help build the resilience of millions of crisis-affected people in the Lake Chad region
Berlin, 4 September 2018 – The High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region concluded with renewed commitments by participants to work together to address the multi-faceted crisis affecting the region. More than 70 countries, international organizations and civil society actors gathered in Berlin 3-4 September to discuss solutions to bring peace and stability to the affected countries. The participants discussed humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention and stabilization, as well as development, to chart a way forward for a comprehensive and inclusive response. The Conference provided an excellent opportunity for in-depth discussions on various aspects that had been raised during the 2017 Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.
More than 17 million people across north-eastern Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Chad and Niger are facing a complex crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict. As a result, more than 2.4 million people are displaced and over 10 million people need assistance to meet their basic protection and humanitarian needs. Participants agreed that a coherent, multi-year approach is needed which integrates all available instruments to tackle the protection crisis and the root causes of the conflict. This is needed to pave the way for sustainable and resilient development of the region, and, thus, contribute to a better future for the people affected.
The political process initiated in the margins of last year’s conference in Oslo, highlights regional ownership and cross-border cooperation at all levels. It also established the Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad Region which met for the first time in Berlin in September 2017 and developed a regional cross-border framework for cooperation at Governor level. At a subsequent meeting in Maiduguri, Nigeria, in May 2018, the Governors founded a permanent forum and formalized their commitment to a regional stabilization strategy adopted 30 August 2018 in Abuja by the African Union and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
During the Berlin conference, 17 UN Member States, the European Commission, pooled funds (UN Central Emergency Response Fund and UN Peacebuilding Fund), the World Bank and the African Development Bank combined announced US$2.17 billion to support a comprehensive response to the crisis in the Lake Chad Region.
In addition to this support, multilateral financial institutions (African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and World Bank) announced US$467 million in concessional loans.
The Foreign Minister of Germany, Heiko Maas, said:
“Today, we stand together to renew our commitment to the Lake Chad region. Once the economic hub between northern and sub-Saharan Africa, it must not become a haven for terrorism, crime and human trafficking. Problems that transcend borders need solutions that do so as well. This is why Germany supports regional cooperation among the four crisis-affected countries. We aim to bolster local efforts for people to live once again in security and peace, to find rewarding work in their communities, and to be able to go to school. To tackle the immense challenges that confront the region, Germany has pledged a total of EUR 140 million in support of humanitarian and peacebuilding activities and in addition EUR 125 million for development activities in the Lake Chad Region in 2018 and beyond.”
The Foreign Minister of Norway, Ine Eriksen Søreide said:
“Norway remains committed to strengthening the humanitarian response and laying the foundation for a sustainable development in the Lake Chad region. We want to give priority to the protection of women, children and young people. They often bear the brunt of this crisis. Not least, there is an urgent need to step up the fight against Gender-Based Violence.”
The Foreign minister of Nigeria, Geoffrey Onyeama, said:
“The protracted humanitarian and development challenges in the Lake Chad region have placed enormous responsibilities on both the riparian states and the global community. Without doubt, there is a need for relevant stakeholders to scale up responses to the crisis, by bolstering and strengthening coordination towards ensuring a more synergized delivery of assistance.”
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said:
"Over 10 million people in the Lake Chad region still need live-saving humanitarian aid and protection. Violence, hunger, displacement and fear remain the harsh realities of their daily lives but today we have better access to many communities than we had a year ago. I thank the donors for their profoundly generous announcements of support to the humanitarian operation - this sends a concrete message of solidarity and hope to the vulnerable people who need us the most."
United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said:
“The US$ 2.17 billion in grants and the US$467 million in concessional loans pledged for the Lake Chad region are a strong endorsement of our new way of working together to address both the humanitarian needs and the root causes of the crisis in the longer term. In this way, our response to a crisis is also an opportunity to invest in a future where crises are less likely and nations are more resilient.”