Foreign Minister Gabriel issued the following statement today (24 February) at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region:
Hundreds of thousands of children are threatened by starvation in the Lake Chad region. Millions of people have had to flee their homes in the face of the brutal terror of Boko Haram. Countless families are fighting for survival. We are facing one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our age.
I was particularly moved today by the speech given by the Nigerian civil society representative that reminded us that it is not the countries with the largest humanitarian aid budget that make the biggest contribution, but rather the people in the Lake Chad region itself. They are “the biggest donors”. They are hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees in their region and helping them with the little that they have, all the while suffering themselves in the face of extremely difficult living conditions.
I am able to announce today that Germany will contribute a further 120 million euros for humanitarian assistance and stabilisation measures for the Lake Chad region over the next three years.
It is important to me that we look beyond the present day. If we intend to improve the situation of the people in the long term, then we must have a stronger focus on crisis prevention and stabilisation than to date. With this in mind, we have decided to set aside 20 million euros of our total contribution for projects to support deradicalisation and reconciliation and to strengthen local structures.
Five million euros have been earmarked for a country-specific fund for Nigeria, which Stephen O’Brien, the Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations, has announced today. This fund will help to deploy this aid even more swiftly and in a manner tailored to the needs of the people in the region.
Such steps will only yield fruit if we implement them in close partnership with the African countries. We have agreed to set up a consultative group together with the co-chairs from Nigeria and Norway, as well as with our counterparts from Cameroon, the Niger and Chad. We will hold regular discussions in order to agree the next steps to counter the basic problems of terrorism, displacement and poverty. This format is open to further countries and organisations.
Furthermore, we have also held discussions today on other crisis regions in Africa. Germany has increased its support considerably in recent years. We doubled our financial contributions to humanitarian crises on the continent once again in the past year and have become the second‑biggest bilateral donor worldwide.
In view of the dramatic situation in South Sudan, I have decided today that the Federal Government will provide the country with an additional 40 million euros of humanitarian assistance. We must ensure that children are no longer threatened by starvation and help to alleviate their unbearable suffering.
Together with his counterparts from Nigeria and Norway, as well as the Emergency Relief Coordinator of the United Nations, Foreign Minister Gabriel invited participants to the conference in Oslo in order to raise funds to help as many people as possible with urgently needed humanitarian assistance. In particular, Germany is working together with international partners to develop measures to stabilise the region in the long term.