Lake Chad Basin Commission, UNDP and partners call for increased investment to scale up stabilization interventions in the Lake Chad Basin

Posted June 9, 2022

500 Newly Constructed Housing Units in Damboa, Borno State, Nigeria

Photo: UNDP Nigeria

Douala, 9th June 2022 – The Lake Chad Basin Commission, UN Development Programme and partners called for improved commitment and investment that allows for scaled-up impact, ensuring a sustainable path to recovery for the Lake Chad Basin region.

The call was made at the Regional Stabilization Facility Board Meeting among representatives of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the African Union and Donor Partners in Douala, Cameroon, while taking stock of progress made through the facility in implementing the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region.

The board meeting – the first since the validation of the extended phase of the facility – provided an opportunity to collectively review progress made across the four countries (Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) that have contributed to achieving stability in target communities and a growing sense of hope and confidence toward the future.

"This is an important meeting for people of the Lake Chad Basin who have benefitted immensely from the results we have achieved through this Facility," said Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). "The Lake Chad Basin Commission continues to count on the collective commitment of partners to ensure that we scale up interventions and build on the foundations laid over the past three years," he added.

The Lake Chad Basin region is one of opportunity. It is a region rich in arable land and pastures that provide a lifeline for agricultural and cattle farming activities. The lake is a source of fresh water, and the abundance of fish provides livelihood opportunities for more than 30 million people.

Despite these opportunities, the region is under a double threat of conflict and the growing effects of climate change, which has shrunk the lake's surface area. The Boko Haram crisis has set back the region's development course and exposed millions to a world of danger. According to OCHA, 1,020 schools are non-functional across the region due to attacks that have deprived thousands of children of access to education. Furthermore, 11 million people require humanitarian assistance, 4.1 million people struggle with food insecurity – the highest since 2018 compounded by the war in Ukraine – and 2.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

The Regional Stabilization Facility was thus established to reverse the downward trends prevalent in the region and provide peace dividends by focusing on community-level needs where some degree of security has been reinstated.

"The Regional Stabilization Facility has made its footprints in the region. It is an initiative that goes to the furthest corners and demonstrates how development works in crisis and hard to reach areas, lifting people in target locations out of poverty," said Diana Louise Ofwona, Resident Representative, UNDP Niger. "We see mass surrenders, people coming back to their villages, livelihoods, and dynamism in target locations that remind us of why we went into stabilization in the first place," she added.

First running from 2019 to 2021 and now in its extended phase, the stabilization facility by working with local, national, and regional partners, has been instrumental in giving agency back to local populations. There is growing trust in local authorities as essential services, infrastructure and community security, and access to justice are being restored.

Formerly lost economic opportunities have been restored for over 57,000 people. The capacities of over 3,000 security and law enforcement personnel were strengthened, and more than 4,000 essential infrastructures rehabilitated in the past year alone, including hospitals, schools, homes, customs and security offices, and perimeter walls.

These results benefit more than 900,000 people, allow communities to move from humanitarian needs to recovery and longer-term development and peace, and contribute to the voluntary return of more than 400,000 Internally Displaced Persons to stabilized communities.

“We need very strong partnerships with the LCBC, the four national governments, line ministries, local governments and of course UNDP and donors” said Gregor Schotten, Deputy Head of Division, Stabilization in Countries and Regions, Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany. “Partnerships are important to programmes such as these and we can assure you of Germany’s full support of the extension phase,” he added.

The extended phase of the facility, which runs until 2024, is designed to build on successes and existing momentum and increase the scale of stabilization together with national and local partners to cover more territories and beneficiaries. Given the nature of conflict dynamics in the region, a strengthened regional approach is needed, ensuring cross-border cooperation, joint planning and collaboration with agencies and actors for sustainability.  

With increased financial support, the facility will avoid disruptions to government-led service delivery, enhance efforts to reduce insecurity and reinforce social cohesion to strengthen the social contract in affected parts of the Lake Chad Basin.

For More Information and Media Enquiries, Contact:

Tenzin Rangdol, Recovery Programme Specialist, UNDP Cameroon | tenzin.rangdol@undp.org  

Henrielle Djinsu Mondjo, Communications Consultant, UNDP Cameroon | henrielle.mondjo@undp.org

Ugochukwu Kingsley Ahuchaogu, Regional Communications Analyst, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa | ugochukwu.kingsley@undp.org

About the Regional Stabilization Facility

The Regional Stabilization Facility represents UNDP's contribution toward implementing the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram-affected areas of the Lake Basin Region.

The facility is anchored on an approach promoting Sahelians' leadership, dignity, hope, and resilience consisting of funding from Germany, Sweden, France, the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

It is a ground-breaking flagship of UNDP's new Offer for the Sahel, entitled 'A Regeneration', which focuses on the catalytic pillars of Governance, Youth and Energy to propel a massive transformation, break the cycle of need, and sustain prosperity in the region.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.

Learn more at www.undp.org/africa