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German support for stabilisation in the Lake Chad region

Refugees arriving in Chad at the border with Nigeria.

Refugees arriving in Chad at the border with Nigeria., © UNHCR/Aristophane Ngargoune

19.07.2019 - Article

One of the most complex crises in the world is found in the Lake Chad region. Germany is supporting regional endeavours to overcome the crisis and providing a further 40 million euros.

Drought, famine, displacement

The Lake Chad region faces great challenges. Millions of people from northeast Nigeria, parts of the Niger, Chad and Cameroon are forced to cope with the impact of frequent droughts and famines. Furthermore, the region – formerly an important trade hub between Central and West Africa  – has been visited by Boko Haram terror for ten years. Irregular migration, organised crime and smuggling are widespread, particularly in the border regions, and 10.7 million people depend on aid for their survival.

Finding regional solutions – second Governors’ Forum in the Niger

Eight provinces in Nigeria, the Niger, Chad and Cameroon are particularly hard hit by the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin. Representatives of these provinces are thus meeting for the second time in the Niger capital Niamey from 16 to 18 July to discuss ways to overcome the crisis and stabilise the region.

German Government will provide a further 40 million euros

The Lake Chad region is repeatedly hit by drought and famine.
The Lake Chad region is repeatedly hit by drought and famine.© OCHA/Eve Sabbagh

In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Foreign Office has been supporting stabilisation efforts in the Lake Chad region since 2017. The German Government is now increasing its support for the fight against crises in the region by a further 40 million euros.

This funding will be used to support a new approach to stabilisation. A range of interconnected measures that can be implemented rapidly will increase the Lake Chad region Governments’ ability to act and tangibly improve the population’s quality of life. At the same time, regional cooperation among the countries in the Lake Chad region is to be strengthened at the levels of central governments, governors and municipalities.

Security, education, health

To this end, funding will be provided for training and further training, as well as to equip civilian security forces in the communities in order to increase their presence on the ground and thus help communities to feel safer. Projects in the health and education sectors will also be funded in order to improve local living conditions.

Strengthening regional initiatives

As a co-chair and founding member of the Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilisation in the Lake Chad Region, Germany is working to support regional stakeholders in finding regional solutions. The spotlight is on local initiatives, with the aim of empowering local African-led stakeholders. Cooperation is being managed by the countries that border Lake Chad rather than by international partners.

The regional strategy for stabilisation, reconstruction and resilience in the regions affected by Boko Haram is one outcome of the joint efforts. Adopted by the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the African Union, this strategy aims to help implement the decisions made at the Lake Chad Conference in Berlin in 2018.

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