Lake Chad Basin: Germany and UNDP join forces for Integrated Regional Stabilization 0

The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced that they will join forces to promote stabilization efforts in the Lake Chad Basin. Under the proposed initiative, titled “Integrated Regional Stabilization of the Lake Chad Basin”, Germany will grant UNDP EUR 6,000,579 million for the implementation of a series of projects aimed at restoring livelihoods and stability to crisis-affected communities.

The grant represents Germany’s commitment to support efforts of countries in the Lake Chad Basin as they work across the humanitarian-development nexus, further sustainable recovery efforts, ensure the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and stabilize communities ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency. The objectives of the project are in line with the priorities outlined in the first meeting of the “Oslo Consultative Group for Prevention and Stabilization” held in Berlin on 6th September 2017 with strong participation of Lake Chad riparian countries.

The Boko Haram insurgency in North East Nigeria and neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger, has left over 10 million people displaced as of 2017 and resulted in massive destruction of basic infrastructure, health and educational facilities, commercial buildings, private houses and agricultural assets.

The multiyear project will target at least 20 communities in the Lake Chad region in Nigeria (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States); Niger (Diffa); Cameroon (Far north/ Logone and Chari and Mayo Tsanaga); and Chad (Lac, Kanem and Hadjer-Lamis).

The main objectives of the German-funded project are to develop and launch a common, regional approach to stabilization between the four countries of the Lake Chad Basin including on cross-border management processes, prevention of violent extremism; promotion of regional stabilization by strengthening community security, local governance and peacebuilding and reconciliation; and support to reintegration of civilian militia groups, vigilantes and former fighters and those associated with insurgent groups into crisis-affected communities. Cross-border cooperation will be crucial. Therefore the project will support the cross-border dialogue of decentralized authorities and decision makers in the Lake Chad Region.

Hailing the support of Germany as he spoke on behalf of UNDP Country Offices in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, Mr. Edward Kallon, UNDP Resident Representative for Nigeria stated that “UNDP will continue to work to across the humanitarian-development nexus, in line with the vision of the UN Secretary-General, and based on the commitments reached by the Lake Chad Basin countries, in order to promote sustainable return of refugees and internally displaced persons, and resilience of communities to both external and internal shocks.”

In its first phase of implementation, the project will provide immediate employment opportunities for 10,000 youth exposed to the risk of violent extremism and ensure the reintegration of 15,000 former Boko Haram fighters, vigilantes and persons associated with armed groups.

The project, which will be coordinated out of UNDP offices in Abuja and Maiduguri, Nigeria with presence in the other three countries, is also intended to benefit 3,000,000 persons through reconciliation activities; 80,000 direct beneficiaries from stabilization activities; 2,700 former militia and vigilantes; and help reinforce the capacities of 10 local government administrations.

Overall, it is estimated that about 4,800,000 persons will indirectly benefit from the implementation of the project.