World Bank approves $1bn to improve security in Lake Chad Region

The World Bank has provided one billion dollars to strengthen resilience and improve the livelihood of the people in the countries affected by the insurgency in Lake Chad.

The bank’s Country Manager for Chad, Mr Rasit Pertesv, made this known on Thursday during the Fourth  Lake Chad Governor’s Forum meeting in N’Djamena, Chad.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the forum occurs amidst shifting conflict patterns and emerging challenges that have resulted in widespread displacement, damage to the social fabric, interrupted public services, and weakened institutional capacities across the affected countries – Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria.

He said that the funds which were disbursed among the crisis-affected countries have helped in revitalizing economic development, creating jobs, and improving the lives of people who had suffered the brunt of the crises.

The country manager said that the zero-interest financing from the International Development Association provided support for two major regional development priorities which include the recovery of livelihoods to reduce the vulnerability of people living in Lake Chad

He said that it would go a long way in expanding cross-border economic activity to spur greater opportunity and integration in the areas of agriculture, energy, transport, and regional trades.

Pertev lauded the regional stability programme aimed at restoring and improving security in Lake Chad and called for redoubled efforts toward sustainable recovery in areas that were economically affected.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Amb. Mamman Nuhu stressed that prevailing poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy created a susceptible environment for the extremist group’s ideology to spread rapidly among communities in the Lake Chad region.

Nuhu said that the region’s majority youth population, traditionally reliant on farming and cattle rearing, had their livelihoods disrupted, making them vulnerable to Boko Haram’s propaganda.

“Since the development of the Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR) in 2018, the strategy has acted as a regional architecture for responding to the complex security, humanitarian and development issues plaguing the region.

“It emphasises the need for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and coordinated set of sub-national, national, and cross-border initiatives to achieve long-term stabilization, recovery, and resilience.

“As a result, several initiatives and programmes have sprung up to facilitate regional cooperation, respond to humanitarian needs, and foster peace and development in the region, one of which is the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum.”

On his part, Amb. Adeoye Bankole, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, African Union Commission, said the Lake Chad Basin Governors Forum is an essential platform for promoting sustainable regional peace and security in the region.

“The African Union encourages further collaboration among member states and international partners to support the forum’s efforts towards consolidating peace in the region and creating better opportunities for the people of the Lake Chad Basin,” he added.

Njoya Tikum, Director, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa. “UNDP will continue to support the LCBC in creating a brighter future for the Lake Chad Basin—a future where security is restored, communities are rebuilt, and opportunities abound.

“The Regional Stabilisation Facility, born out of the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum, has been instrumental in implementing the RS-SRR. Through collaborative efforts, we have been able to co-create practical and enduring solutions that have enabled nearly half a million internally displaced persons to return to their communities and significantly enhance their quality of life,” he said.

NAN reports that the Lake Chad Governors Forum, themed “New Opportunities for Peace in a Shifting Security Context,” aims to improve understanding of emerging security trends in the region and their implications for ongoing efforts to restore state authority.

It also seeks to explore the future of the RS-SRR, which is now in its final year of implementation, and find ways to scale up and forge partnerships to address the plight of forcibly displaced people, including refugees and internally displaced persons.