Addressing immediate needs and long-term development goals
In the Lake Chad region, a combination of extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict has put more than 10 million of the region's 17.4 million people in urgent need of life saving assistance. The situation has created a fertile environment for the terrorist organisation Boko Haram to recruit socially and economically vulnerable young people, further deepening the crisis. This is a massive humanitarian emergency, as well as a daunting development challenge, spanning from lack of education and jobs to absence of basic services, that can only be tackled through a holistic response.
To address both short-needs and long-term development objectives, UNDP helped establish a Regional Stabilisation Facility (RSF) for Lake Chad, a multi-million dollar fund to scale up the range of stabilisation interventions in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The facility serves as a rapid response mechanism to support the local authorities curtail the terrorist group Boko Haram’s insurgency – by restoring and extending effective civilian security, improving the delivery of basic services, providing employment opportunities for local populations in the region, and supporting a timely, coordinated, and effective transition from stabilization to early recovery. The facility also aided in building and strengthening infrastructure and basic services for safety, public administration, education, health, and livelihoods for the thousands of people who are part of the stabilization process. Peace and stabilization committees ensured inclusion of communities in decision-making with authorities and security actors.
The aim of this integrated response is to provide a coherent and collaborative regional framework to help move from humanitarian assistance to development and resilience, reduce household level poverty, and combat radicalisation and recruitment of young people into terrorism groups. UNDP is currently also focusing on strengthening cross-border mechanisms for dialogues and developing a stabilisation programme for the Liptako Gourma Authority, a regional jurisdiction covering the contiguous areas of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.