The World Bank has allocated one billion dollars to enhance resilience and uplift the living conditions of individuals in countries affected by the insurgency in Lake Chad. During the Fourth Lake Chad Governor’s Forum meeting in N’Djamena, Chad, Mr. Rasit Pertesv, the bank’s Country Manager for Chad, announced this development.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this forum takes place amidst changing conflict patterns and emerging challenges that have resulted in widespread displacement, societal damage, disrupted public services, and weakened institutional capacities across Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria—the countries directly affected by the crisis.
Pertesv highlighted that the disbursed funds have contributed to revitalizing economic growth, generating employment opportunities, and improving the lives of those who have borne the brunt of the crises.
The country manager emphasized that the interest-free financing from the International Development Association has supported two significant regional development priorities. These priorities focus on restoring livelihoods to reduce vulnerability among Lake Chad residents and fostering cross-border economic activities to stimulate opportunities and integration in agriculture, energy, transportation, and regional trade.
Pertev commended the regional stability program, which aims to restore and enhance security in the Lake Chad region. He urged intensified efforts to achieve sustainable recovery in areas that suffered significant economic setbacks.
Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, also addressed the forum. He stressed that prevailing poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy created an environment susceptible to the rapid spread of extremist ideologies among communities in the Lake Chad region. Nuhu noted that the majority youth population in the region, traditionally dependent on farming and cattle rearing, had their livelihoods disrupted, making them vulnerable to the propaganda of groups like Boko Haram.
Since the establishment of the Regional Strategy for Stabilization, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR) in 2018, the strategy has served as a regional framework to address the complex security, humanitarian, and development issues affecting the region. It underscores the need for comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and coordinated sub-national, national, and cross-border initiatives to achieve long-term stability, recovery, and resilience. Several initiatives and programs have been launched to facilitate regional cooperation, respond to humanitarian needs, and promote peace and development in the region, including the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum.
Ambassador Adeoye Bankole, Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security at the African Union Commission, emphasized that the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum plays a crucial role in promoting sustainable regional peace and security. He encouraged further collaboration among member states and international partners to support the forum’s efforts in consolidating peace and creating better opportunities for the people of the Lake Chad Basin.
Njoya Tikum, Director of the UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa, reaffirmed UNDP’s commitment to supporting the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in building a brighter future for the region. Tikum highlighted the instrumental role of the Regional Stabilization Facility, initiated by the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum, in implementing the RS-SRR. Through collaborative efforts, nearly half a million internally displaced persons have been able to return to their communities, significantly improving their quality of life.
The Lake Chad Governors Forum, under the theme “New Opportunities for Peace in a Shifting Security Context,” aims to enhance 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, currently in its final year of implementation, and identify ways to scale up efforts and forge partnerships to address the challenges faced by forcibly displaced people, including refugees and internally displaced persons.