The European Union, EU, has released €138 million in funding to support crisis-ridden communities in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
The Pan European body explained that the humanitarian crisis in the Africa’s Lake Chad basin, affecting parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon has lingered for too long due to prolonged violence, insecurity and environmental degradation.
The development assistance will be shared among the four affected countries in the region: Nigeria (€74.5 million), Niger (€32.2 million), Chad (€33.2 million), and Cameroon (€2.7 million), for a combined amount of €143 million, out of which €34.7 was announced earlier this year.
According to EU: “The humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad basin is extremely fragile. Over 2.4 million people have been forcibly displaced (including 1.2 million children), while violence and insecurity have also had a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of more than 17 million people.
“Around 3.6 million people are in need of emergency food assistance and 440, 000 severely malnourished children across the region need life-saving assistance.”
The funds, according to EU is to help the most affected communities, saying that it is part of an overall EU aid package for the region worth €232 million.
Speaking yesterday at the high level conference on the Lake Chad Region in Berlin, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides said:”The disastrous effects of armed conflict and violence in the Lake Chad basin have had a serious impact in an area already plagued by poverty and the extreme effects of climate change. The EU is committed to continue to help the most vulnerable. Today we are stepping up our humanitarian and development assistance.”
Also speaking, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica explained that “as the humanitarian situation remains pressing, we also need to help prepare the region to move from conflict to peace – and from fragility to resilience. Our new funding will invest in social services and tackle poverty, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change”.
She said the EU will also boost its existing programmes in North East of Nigeria by strengthening girls’ education and reintegration efforts, as well as health and nutrition services”.
This package, according to Mimica is part of the EU’s strategy to better link its humanitarian and development support with Nigeria and Chad being both pilot countries in this effort.