Participants in the workshop in Brussels share ideas on stabilizing efforts for the Lake Chad Basin. (Photo, Mikael Lindvall)

 

The crisis in Lake Chad Basin remains complex, and after a decade of conflict, it is critical that interventions designed and implemented to restore peace in the region and facilitate development activities to take place again. The urgent need for strengthening human security, delivering essential services and facilitating the revitalization of economic activities cannot be emphasized.

UNDP and the European Union (EU) organised a workshop, March 2019, dubbed “Rapid and Agile Responses in support to Stabilisation” in Brussels where experts from EU Member States, the EU institutions and UNDP exchanged ideas drawn from lessons learned from EU and UNDP stabilisation approaches in different countries and contexts and looked into a potential adaptation for the Lake Chad Basin and the Sahel.  

Diminishing water levels of the Lake Chad, shared by eight countries, has pushed an estimated 12% of the more than 370 million people in these countries who depend on it for crop and livestock farming, fishing, commerce and trade to abject poverty, triggered mass migration, conflicts and crises in the region. Additionally, the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in mass displacement of millions across the region.

UNDP and partners are working towards developing a programme that will support national interventions for immediate stabilisation, in line with UNDP global practice, while also supporting the Lake Chad Basin Commission in implementation of the LCBC-AU Regional Stabilisation Strategy for Lake Chad, approved by LCBC Member States on 30th August, and endorsed by the AU Peace & Security Council on 5th December 2018. Last year (May), UNDP facilitated the establishment of the Lake Chad Basin Governor's Forum, a platform that now serves to enhance joint efforts towards stabilizing, building peace and fostering sustainable development across the region. The Forum held its inaugural meeting in Maiduguri, North-East Nigeria and was hosted by the Governor of Borno State Kashim Shettima.  

The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, which traces its roots in development-related challenges including multidimensional poverty, has caused billions of dollars in damage to property and disruption of livelihoods in the region.

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