Norway increases support to Lake Chad region

Norway is providing NOK 730m in aid to Nigeria and the other countries in the Lake Chad region, which have…

Norway is providing NOK 730m in aid to Nigeria and the other countries in the Lake Chad region, which have been hit hard by violent extremism, climate change, poverty and hunger.‘The international community has pledged to help the people in these crisis-affected areas. This is a matter of saving lives, and of safeguarding the future for millions of people. National and regional ownership will be vital, but the countries will also need substantial support from Norway and other international partners,’ said State Secretary Erling Rimestad.

This week, Mr Rimestad is attending the third High-level Conference on the Lake Chad Region. The conference is being held in Niamey, the capital of Niger, six years after the first of these high-level conferences took place in Oslo. Norway is co-hosting the conference with Niger, the UN and Germany.

Some 24 million people in the Lake Chad region are in need of humanitarian aid. The region is severely affected by climate change, food insecurity and violent extremism. These factors, combined with attacks by Boko Haram and ISIL, have forced 2.9 million people to leave their homes.

‘The scale of need in the region is enormous. The people affected by the various ongoing crises are in need of protection, food, health services and shelter. It is also vital to take a long-term approach and target measures towards the underlying causes. Norway will build on the development cooperation it has already established with these countries, and will channel support through global mechanisms and civil society organisations,” the report distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, quoted Mr Rimestad as saying.

It added that it is the countries themselves that are responsible for ensuring security and providing basic services to their populations, and Mr Rimestad raised this in his meetings with the countries’ representatives in Niamey.

Mr Rimestad also met representatives from the UN and civil society organisations. Some 600 participants from 35 countries and organisations are attending the conference, which lasts for two days.

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