The European Union on Monday released €138 million to help communities in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon affected by violence, insecurity and environmental degradation.
The donation will provide humanitarian and development assistance in the four countries; as part of overall EU aid package for the Chad Basin worth €232 million.
According to a post on the EU commission website, the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, said at a conference on the Lake Chad Region in Berlin, that the EU will also support livelihoods, helping people rebuild their lives.
“The disastrous effects of armed conflict and violence in the Lake Chad basin have had a serious impact in an area already plagued by poverty and the extreme effects of climate change. The EU is committed to continue to help the most vulnerable.” Mr Stylianides said.
”Today we are stepping up our humanitarian and development assistance. What is crucial is for all parties to the conflict to ensure full access throughout the region so our aid can reach those in need.” He added.
Also at the conference in Berlin, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said the new funding will enable EU boost existing programmes in North-east Nigeria by strengthening girls’ education.
“As the humanitarian situation remains pressing, we also need to help prepare the region to move from conflict to peace and from fragility to resilience.
”Our new funding will invest in social services and tackle poverty, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change. We will also boost some of our existing programmes in North East Nigeria by strengthening girls’ education and reintegration efforts, as well as health and nutrition services,” Mr Mimica said.
The funds allocated for humanitarian assistance to the four countries in the region are Nigeria (€47 million), Niger (€15 million), Chad (€11.8 million), and Cameroon (€15.1 million).
It will cover the acute food and nutrition needs as well as supporting protection activities, access to basic health care and shelter. It will also support livelihoods, helping people rebuild their lives.
For development assistance, Nigeria got €74.5 million, Niger €32.2 million, Chad €33.2 million, and Cameroon €2.7 million.
The funds are for creation of appropriate security conditions for the return and sustainable reintegration of internally displaced people and refugees; supporting the provision of basic services (healthcare, food security and education); supporting economic recovery and job creation, notably for the youth.
According to the commission, humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad basin remains extremely fragile.
“Over 2.4 million people have been forcibly displaced (including 1.2 million children), while violence and insecurity have also had a negative impact on the lives and livelihoods of more than 17 million people,” it said.
“Similarly, around 3.6 million people are in need of emergency food assistance and 440, 000 severely malnourished children across the region need life-saving assistance. The resulting humanitarian crisis is among the largest in the world.”
The report said the EU provided close to €700 million in humanitarian aid and development assistance to the region between 2014 and 2017.