Poverty, climate change and violent conflict have impacted millions of people in the Lake Chad Region. The intensity and expansion of non-state armed groups activities since 2009 have led to massive internal and cross-border displacement, disruption of government institutions, human rights abuses, as well as destruction of livelihoods, properties and social ties. Violent conflicts continue to fuel large-scale human suffering in the region. Continuously affecting the lives and livelihoods of the people in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, the crisis in the Lake Chad Region needs to be addressed holistically, through initiatives strengthening humanitarian assistance, crisis prevention and stabilization and sustainable development.
Following the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region held in February 2017, at which US$672 million in financial support was pledged for 2017 and beyond, the humanitarian response in the Lake Chad region was scaled up significantly: more than six million people were reached with assistance in 2017, and in north-east Nigeria a famine could be averted. At the same time, efforts were undertaken to strengthen regional cooperation to address factors driving the crisis, including and particularly through the Consultative Group on Prevention and Stabilization in the Lake Chad Region, which grew out of the Oslo Conference and provides a strategic platform for discussion on crisis prevention and stabilization in the region. In parallel, important initiatives have been undertaken by respective Governments, the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Union and other actors to scale up development-oriented actions by integrating more risk-tolerance, flexibility and innovation in programme design.
Strengthening collective efforts among the wide range of actors addressing the complex crisis in the Lake Chad region is a key priority: Humanitarian assistance has saved lives and prevented millions of people from slipping below emergency thresholds, and must be sustained. In order to resolve ongoing conflicts and build peace, political solutions to the crisis need to be found across borders. In parallel, more longer-term development investments are needed to re-establish civilian government presence and services, build resilience and address the underlying vulnerabilities and conflict drivers.
The Conference will build on the achievements, partnerships and commitments from the Oslo Conference in February 2017 and will focus on three thematic pillars: (i) humanitarian assistance and protection; (ii) crisis prevention and stabilization; and (iii) building resilience for sustainable development. Interactive thematic panels on these three pillars will provide a platform for participants to discuss and exchange experiences, ideas and strategies for strengthening regional cross-border collaboration between the affected countries and key stakeholders.
- Reinforce a collective, multi-faceted approach to addressing the crisis and its root causes;
- Support the leadership of the affected governments and strengthen their partnerships with regional and international partners ;
- Mobilize international resources to address the immediate and longer-term needs of those affected by the crisis, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups;
- Galvanize support for principled humanitarian assistance, unimpeded and unfettered humanitarian access to those affected by the crisis, and strengthened protection of civilians;
- Address the mid-term and longer-term needs of those affected by the crisis through resilience-building, crisis prevention and stabilization and sustainable development.