meeting between NGOs and donors on the crisis in the Lake Chad region

meeting between NGOs and donors on the crisis in the Lake Chad region

Representatives of international organizations and governments are meeting in Niamey, Niger’s capital, on Monday to work on the protection of millions of civilians in the Lake Chad region – Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon – plagued by jihadist violence since ten years.

During this two-day meeting, co-organized by Niger, Germany and Norway in collaboration with the United Nations, the participants should “renew their commitment” in order “to allow a faster return to peace” and ” strengthen the resilience of more than 24 million people” affected by the crisis, underlines a note from the UN sent to AFP.

The recruitment of young people by “extremist groups” and the fight against the effects of climate change are on the agenda of discussions between the countries concerned, international donors and civil society actors.

The Lake Chad Basin has become the epicenter of atrocities by fighters from Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP, a split from Boko Haram), who have found refuge there.

After 13 years of conflict, “armed groups continue to spread violence” and millions of people are currently in need of “large-scale assistance”, according to the UN note.

“Despite some positive developments, high levels of violence continue to have a devastating impact on millions of people in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria,” the UN said.

The States bordering Lake Chad and the international community have already met in Oslo in 2017, then in Berlin in 2018, to mobilize funds to deal with the crisis.

In Berlin, more than 2.17 billion dollars had been pledged for humanitarian action and the “consolidation of peace” in this region.

However, the UN estimates that “funding requirements” for “emergency” interventions in the basin have increased by some USD 259 million since 2018.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of climate change have “exacerbated the humanitarian situation” and 5.3 million people are still displaced, points out the UN.

Niger, Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon set up in July 2015 the Joint Multinational Force (MMF), composed of 8,500 men operating against armed jihadist groups.

“Certainly, the very deadly and large-scale attacks have decreased in recent months, but that does not mean that the terrorists are defeated,” a Nigerian security source told AFP.

The Boko Haram insurgency emerged in 2009 in Nigeria before spreading to neighboring countries.