Countries in the Lake Chad Region – Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad – are to benefit from the European Union’s (EU’s) €102.5 million humanitarian aid, according to the bloc.

A statement signed by the bloc indicated that the EU made the pledge at 3rd High Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region holding in Niamey from Jan. 23 to 24.

The conference is a critical international political forum convened with a view to facilitating regional, cross-border consensus around the required adjustments for effectively dealing with the prevailing multi-faceted challenges in the region.

The Lake Chad region, which is located in the far west of Chad and the northeast of Nigeria, and also extends to Niger and Cameroon, is one of the world’s most protracted conflict and crisis environments.

According to the bloc, the EU has pledged €102.5 million in humanitarian funding for Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.

The funding will help vulnerable communities in the four countries in view of the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region.

The funding is also expected to address the violence in the area, where the civilian population is increasingly becoming the victim of targeted attacks, the group said.

The bloc added that the increasing attacks have resulted in large-scale displacement of persons, disruption of livelihoods, and the lack of access to basic services.

The bloc further said that the EU funding is specifically “responding to the most acute food needs of households and communities affected by conflict and treating severe acute undernutrition in children under five.

“Giving access to healthcare to populations that are newly displaced or outside the reach of health authorities, and improving the access to safe water and sanitation as well as supporting emergency education for displaced children and those in hard-to-reach areas.

“Lastly, strengthening disaster preparedness (e.g. early warning systems and climate resilience actions).”

The statement quoted the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič as saying at the event that “more than 24 million people in these four countries are estimated to need humanitarian assistance of an increase of 9.5 per cent over that of 2022.

“This funding will provide the much needed support to vulnerable communities impacted by conflict, displacement, and increasing food insecurity.

“As the region faces an unprecedented food crisis, we will continue to monitor the situation and react with additional funding if necessary.”

Details of the funding for 2023 indicate that the total amount will be disbursed as follows: Nigeria (€34 million); Niger (€25 million); Chad (€26.5 million); and Cameroon (€17 million).

The funding is part of the total €181.5 million allocated this year for the Lake Chad basin, the Central African Republic and the Sahel, as announced last week.

In 2022, the EU provided about €189.5 million to support humanitarian interventions in the 4 countries of the region.

With a view to addressing the multidimensional crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, riparian governments and the international community convened at the High-Level Conferences in Oslo (2017) and in Berlin (2018) to coordinate and streamline their engagement in the region.

Germany, Norway, and the United Nations (OCHA/UNDP) are the standing conference co-hosts.

This high-level conference cycle is complemented at the subnational level by meetings of the Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilisation, Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development. (NAN)