A United Nations-backed humanitarian conference to raise much needed resources for relief, development and peacebuilding programs in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin concluded on Tuesday, raising some $2.17 billion in support and about $467 million in concessional loans for the crisis-ridden region.
Achim Steiner, the Administrator for the UN Development Program (UNDP) said that the promised funds amounted to a “strong endorsement” of the Organization’s work, to address both urgent humanitarian needs and the root causes of the crisis.
“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,” he said.
The two-day High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region, was organized in Berlin, by UNDP and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), together with the governments of Germany, Norway and Nigeria.
It brought together more than 70 countries, regional organizations, international financial institutions and humanitarian organizations to discuss immediate relief needs, crisis prevention and stabilization, as well as development, to chart a way forward for a comprehensive and inclusive response.
According to OCHA, the conference also provided an “excellent opportunity” for in-depth deliberations on issues emerging from last February’s Oslo humanitarian conference on the region that raised some $650 million in pledges for humanitarian programs in 2017 and beyond.
“Participants agreed that a coherent, multi-year approach is needed, that integrates all available instruments to tackle the protection crisis and the root causes of the conflict,” said the organizers in a news release.
“This is needed to pave the way for sustainable and resilient development of the region, and thus contribute to a better future for the affected people.”
The conference also highlighted the regional dimension of the Lake Chad crisis, and the crucial role of local actors, cross-border cooperation and ownership at all levels.
More than 17 million people across the four Lake Chad Basin countries – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – remain mired in a complex crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict.
As a result, more than 2.4 million are displaced and over 10 million people need more assistance to meet their basic protection and humanitarian needs.