Belgium invests more than 9 million EUR in humanitarian aid for the Lake Chad region

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo reaffirms Belgium’s support for the humanitarian response in the lake Chad Basin. In the margins of the High Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region in Berlin, the Minister notes that Belgium invests more than 9 million EUR in humanitarian aid this year for the region, where more than 11 million people need aid to survive.

A High Level Conference on Lake Chad in Berlin is taking place today and tomorrow in Berlin. In this context, Belgium has reaffirmed its support to the humanitarian response in the region by providing assistance for an amount of 9,749,835 EUR in 2018 to the Belgian NGOs Caritas International, Oxfam Belgium, “Médecins du monde”, Veterinarians Without Borders, Handicap International and the Belgian Red Cross as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF and the World Food Program.

10 years of crisis
The humanitarian emergency in the Lake Chad Basin is one of the largest ones in the world. This year, about 11 million people need aid in order to survive. The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, caused by Boko Haram, has been ongoing for nearly a decade. It has resulted in the loss of livelihoods, considerable population movements and frequent human rights abuses.

The sectors funded through Belgium’s humanitarian partners aim to support and protect the most vulnerable in Nigeria, Chad and Niger by strengthening the protection of people and supporting communities to cope with the risks of shocks, increase their resilience and adapt in the longer term.

Several projects are also aimed at developing innovative solutions to better respond to humanitarian challenges, including access issues (UNICEF: development of an alert and information system via mobile communication in northern Nigeria), tensions between refugees and members of the host community (UNHCR: solar energy installations for water pumps in refugee camps in Chad), and the need for better technologies for mine clearance (Handicap International: Combined the use of drones, new detection methods and a mobile data collection interface).

Link between humanitarian aid and development cooperation
Given the chronic and prolonged nature of their needs, Belgium has also selected the Lake Chad Region for transitional development support linking humanitarian aid to development cooperation. A call for projects has been launched to finance actions in support of the socio-economic integration of girls and boys with a total amount of about 3 million EUR. Belgium aims to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, while simultaneously investing in community perspectives for a better future. Lastly, the Belgian bilateral cooperation with Niger will dedicate in the course of the coming two years at least 32 million EUR for projects of structural development in this country.