Boko Haram: Nigeria, Germany, Norway, UN meet on Lake Chad

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…To raise $1.56bn for humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention, others


New York—Nigeria, Germany, Norway, and United Nations, yesterday, converged on Berlin, Germany, for a conference to pledge support for humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, crisis prevention and stabilisation of Lake Chad region and also to raise funds in excess of $1.56 billion.

Residents walk past burnt houses in the remote northeast town of Baga on April 21, 2013 after two days of clashes between officers of the Joint Task Force and members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram on April 19 in the town near Lake Chad, 200 kms north of Maiduguri, in Borno State. Photo:AFP.

The Berlin Conference, which continues today, is jointly organised by the three countries and the UN, and is one of the 2018 largest pledging conferences for the Lake Chad region.

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The pledges at the conference would help provide humanitarian assistance for North-East Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon ravaged by Boko Haram insurgents.

It would also discuss the perspectives of civil society, their concerns and contributions, as well as how to strengthen collaboration between the affected countries and organisations involved in responding to the crisis.

The Nigerian delegation to the Berlin conference is being led by Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande.

The Nigerian envoy said recently that Nigeria had developed a 6.7-billion-dollar robust plan of action for the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of Northeast, devastated by Boko Haram activities.

Bande said: “The Berlin Conference on the Lake Chad has been slated for the first week of September 2018 and would build substantially on the outcome of the February 2017 Oslo Donors Conference on the Lake Chad.

“I would like to take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to redouble efforts and commitment towards making the coming Berlin Conference on the Lake Chad of September 3 to 4, 2018, a watershed.

“This is in our collective resolve to further mobilise resources and demonstrate implicit commitment to plans that will ensure moving quickly beyond the immediate humanitarian needs, to concrete sustainable developmental projects capable of substantially elevating the lives of the majority of people in the region.”

The Nigerian envoy stressed the need for collaboration and cooperation among countries of the Lake Chad, the donors, as well as humanitarian and development partners.

According to him, collaboration between the humanitarian and development agencies has gained traction at the UN in recent times, such that the involvement of national governments is needed to make it work.

He said the protracted humanitarian and development challenges in the Lake Chad region had place enormous responsibilities on all to remain engaged in discussion, aimed at scaling up national, regional and global responses to the crisis.

The envoy emphasised that these responses needed to be bolstered by strengthened coordination at the UN level to ensure a more synergised delivery of assistance.