Millions of people are fleeing terror and hunger in the Lake Chad region in western Africa. The Federal Foreign Office is helping affected states to tackle the crisis together.
When hardship and violence spread across borders, a cross‑border solution becomes necessary. The governors from the border region of Nigeria, Chad, the Niger and Cameroon will therefore meet at regular intervals in the future in order to improve the way in which they coordinate their response to the crisis. This is what representatives from these countries agreed at the first meeting of the Lake Chad Consultative Group in Berlin on Wednesday. High‑ranking officials from countries bordering Lake Chad – Nigeria, the Niger, Cameroon and Chad – as well as representatives from various African regional organisations and important international partners such as the United Nations, the G7, Norway, the European Union and the World Bank met at the invitation of the Federal Foreign Office.
Millions have fled their homes
The Lake Chad Basin is home to over 30 million people. The people in the region are having to face multiple crises at the same time, such as massive environmental degradation and dramatic supply shortages, as well as the brutal terror of Boko Haram. More than two million people have been forced to flee their homes.
Germany is focusing on long‑term assistance
Together with the United Nations, Germany has already launched projects to bring stability to the region. In order to help restore lasting peace, the reintegration of former fighters into society is being supported, for example. The projects are encouraging a dialogue between various perpetrators’ and victims’ groups in order to facilitate reconciliation. The Federal Foreign Office is committing over 50 million euros to this cause. Germany has already contributed 90 million euros of humanitarian assistance this year to avert a famine.
It is important to improve the quality of life of people in the region to prevent even greater numbers of people from having to flee their homes. This is precisely where Germany’s assistance comes into play. The affected countries are being supported in their efforts to improve emergency aid in the conflict‑stricken region themselves and to ensure greater security for the population.
Cooperation is key
Cooperation and interconnectivity play a key role in this regard. It was with this in mind that the Lake Chad Consultative Group was set up at Germany’s initiative. Together with the United Nations, Germany and Norway, Nigeria, Chad, the Niger and Cameroon use this forum to discuss how cross‑border cooperation can be improved. In particular, Germany is working to strengthen the joint efforts being made to improve crisis prevention and achieve greater stability.