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Boko Haram: Nigeria, UN, donors  in Berlin Conference for $1.6bn humanitarian relief

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Jude Johnson 

The governments of Nigeria, Germany, Norway and the United Nations has began a two-day meeting on Monday in Berlin, German Capital,  on the terrorist group Boko Haram and ways to raise funds needed for humanitarian relief in the crisis hit Lake Chad region of the North East.

The meeting which,  is one of the largest pledging conferences for the Lake Chad region is discussing the provision of humanitarian assistance, civilian protection, crisis prevention and stabilisation for the region.

The conference is also looking at the issue of raising fund for the humanitarian requirements of $1.56 billion.

The humanitarian help will be for the North East of Nigeria which has been the battle ground of the terrorist group.

Also, Niger, Chad and Cameroon will benefit from the efforts as they also suffer immensely from Boko Haram attacks.

The conference, it was said, would also discuss the issue of civil society, their concerns and contributions among other things.

Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, who led the delegation to the conference said: “The Berlin Conference on the Lake Chad has been slated for the first week of September 2018 and would build substantially on the outcome of the February 2017 Oslo Donors Conference on the Lake Chad.

“I would like to take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders to redouble efforts and commitment towards making the coming Berlin Conference on the Lake Chad of Sept. 3 to 4, 2018, a watershed.

“This is in our collective resolve to further mobilise resources and demonstrate implicit commitment to plans that will ensure moving quickly beyond the immediate humanitarian needs,  to concrete sustainable developmental projects capable of substantially elevating the lives of the majority of people in the region.”

Bande emphasized the need for collaboration and cooperation among countries of the Lake Chad, the donors, as well as humanitarian and development partners.

He said collaboration between the humanitarian and development agencies at the United Nations level had increased lately.

According to him, the involvement of national government would be required to achieve success of the efforts.

Bande said further:  “Let me emphasise that the recharge of the Lake Chad Basin, capacity building, and restoration of livelihood, through facilitation of occupational opportunities, job creation, skill acquisition and others, are central to finding lasting solution to the problem in the region.

“To realise all these would entail our collective commitment to a broad range of actions, facilitated by strong international cooperation and partnership, involving the UN agencies and development partners, like the World Bank and African Development Bank, among others.”

The UN had said that it would have provided assistance to no fewer than 6.1 million people affected by the Boko Haram crisis in Northeast Nigeria by the end of 2018.

At an event recently, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, described the crisis being faced by Nigeria over Boko Haram as a huge one.

“The figures are alarming – 10.2 million people affected in three states in Northeast Nigeria, 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

“Our 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan was developed to provide assistance for 6.1 million people requiring slightly above a billion dollars in 2018.”

Credits| TNE

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