News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

UN renews zeal to rescue Lake Chad

Lake Chad Basin

By Isaac Aregbesola

The UN has renewed support for the stability and resilience to take embattled Lake Chad Basin out of crisis and to put it on the path to sustainable development.

Mr Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, said Abuja at the Ministerial Conference on the Validation and Adoption of the Regional Strategy on stabilisation of Boko Haram affected areas of the Lake Chad region.

The UN said the resilience of the Boko Haram group in the Lake Chad basin since 2009 posed enormous security, humanitarian and governance challenges.

Four countries caught up in the insurgency are Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

UN said the Boko Haram had displaced nearly 2.4 million people in the Lake Chad sub-region.

“UNDP and the entire UN system stand ready to support the Lake Chad Basin countries and partners to ensure an inclusive, sustainable and accountable implementation of the regional stabilisation strategy.

“And, put the Lake Chad sub-region on the path to sustainable development.”

According to him, the UN is working closely with the government of Nigeria and other Lake Chad Basin countries in their relief and recovery efforts in addressing the needs of affected population.

He said that the visit of the UN Security Council to the region in March 2017 and the subsequent adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2349 (2017) further galvanised the world attention to the crisis in the Lake Chad.

“The adoption of the strategy fulfilled the Security Council’s Resolution 2349 that, among others, called for regional organisations to develop a comprehensive strategy.

“This will effectively address the drivers conflict that contributed to the emergence of Boko Haram and ISIL, with a particular focus on longer term development needs,” he said.

Kallon stressed the need for the collaborative efforts to mobilise resources to implement the strategy.

“Our task now is to take this forward and mobilise required resources to implement the strategy.

“The high level conference on the Lake Chad Region in Berlin slated for Sept. 2 and 3, will have a concrete regional stabilisation strategy to build on,” he said.

Also speaking, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil karlsen, said that the strategy was more needed now than any other time.

The ambassador said that EU would support the depth implementation of the strategy.

Karslen stressed the need to recognise the significant progress and the achievement by the stakeholders in solving the crisis in Nigeria’s northeast and Lake Chad basin regions.

He expressed concern that with the magnitude of the crisis it had been one of those overlooked crisis in the global scale.

He said that the EU supports the integration approach to solving crisis, stressing for need to combine political and financial strength to end the crisis successfully.

He said the EU has been and will remain supportive in the fight against insurgence in the lake Chad basin, stressing that the union had spent more than 700 million Euros in its humanitarian assistance in the area. (NAN)