The conference is expected to reinforce an approach that combines the response to people’s immediate humanitarian needs with addressing the root causes of the crisis in a way that leads to sustainable, resilient development. Photo: Village of Tagal, Chad/ UNICEF.

   High Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region
          Federal Foreign Office, Berlin – Germany     3 – 4 September 2018

Millions of people in Africa’s Lake Chad region (north-east Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon) are facing a profound and protracted humanitarian crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict.

The crisis has led to massive internal and cross-border displacement of 2.4 million people, destruction of livelihoods, disruption of local governance systems, human rights abuses, and disruption of health, education and other basic services. More than ten million vulnerable people need life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection today. Women and children are particularly hard hit. The entire region need inclusive governance systems, better social services delivery, sustainable natural resources management and more livelihoods opportunities. A forward-looking, comprehensive response to the crises which bring together humanitarian and development actors is vital for the future of the people in the region.

In February 2017, a conference on the Lake Chad region co-hosted by Germany, Nigeria, Norway, and the United Nations took place in Oslo. Donors pledged US$672 million to emergency assistance and support in 2017 and beyond. The humanitarian response was scaled up significantly: more than six million people were reached with assistance in 2017, and a famine was averted in north-east Nigeria.

The humanitarian requirements for the region in 2018 totals US$1.56 billion. Efficient development assistance focusing on building resilience is also needed now.

The co-hosts from Oslo are now organizing a second conference to maintain momentum and increase and expand international support, this time in Berlin in September. This Conference will aim at raising financial and other support for the humanitarian response but also promote crisis prevention and stabilization as well resilience for sustainable development:

  • Humanitarian response is the provision of life-saving relief items such as food, clean water and shelter; protection of civilians; and basic services such as health and education.
  • Stabilization seeks to enable first steps towards reconciliation and identify approached to de-radicalization and prevention of violent extremisms
  • Resilience for sustainable development seeks to reduce risk, needs and vulnerability and reduce the dependency to humanitarian support

There is a heightened awareness that a more joined-up approach to humanitarian and development programing is needed “moving from delivering aid, to ending need”. This will require a boost in development action focused on restoring and enhancing resilience for the most vulnerable and addressing the structural deficits and root causes of the crisis.

The conference is expected to reinforce an approach that combines the response to people’s immediate humanitarian needs with addressing the root causes of the crisis in a way that leads to sustainable, resilient development.

Financial pledges will be made by donors both to the current humanitarian response but also to the longer-term needs of the crisis-affected people.

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