The World Bank has provided $1 billion to strengthen resilience and improve the livelihood of the people in the countries affected by the insurgency in Lake Chad.
The bank’s country manager for Chad, Rasit Pertesv, said this Thursday during the Fourth Lake Chad Governor’s Forum meeting in N’Djamena, Chad.
The forum occurs amidst shifting conflict patterns and emerging challenges that have resulted in widespread displacement, damage to the social fabric, interrupted public services, and weakened institutional capacities across the affected countries – Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.
He said the funds disbursed among the crisis-affected countries have helped revitalise economic development, create jobs, and improve the lives of people who had suffered the brunt of the crises.
The country manager added that the zero-interest financing from the International Development Association supported two major regional development priorities, which include the recovery of livelihoods to reduce the vulnerability of people living in Lake Chad.
Mr Pertesv also mentioned that expanding cross-border economic activity would go a long way to spur greater opportunity and integration in agriculture, energy, transport and regional trades.
He lauded the regional stability program aimed at restoring and improving security in Lake Chad and called for redoubled efforts toward sustainable recovery in economically affected areas.
“The world bank has written a regional memo for Lake with emphasis on the strategic approach towards enhancing the socio-economic status of the region, the improvement of security and development.
The executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mamman Nuhu, emphasised that prevailing poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy created a susceptible environment for the extremist group’s ideology to spread rapidly among communities in the Lake Chad region.
Mr Nuhu said that the region’s majority youth population, traditionally reliant on farming and cattle rearing, had their livelihoods disrupted, making them vulnerable to Boko Haram’s propaganda.
“Since the development of the Regional Strategy for Stabilisation, Recovery, and Resilience (RS-SRR) in 2018, the strategy has acted as a regional architecture for responding to the complex security, humanitarian and development issues plaguing the region,” Mr Nuhu stressed.
He added, “It emphasises the need for a comprehensive, multi-sectoral, and coordinated set of sub-national, national, and cross-border initiatives to achieve long-term stabilization, recovery, and resilience. As a result, several initiatives and programmes have sprung up to facilitate regional cooperation, respond to humanitarian needs and foster peace and development in the region, one of which is the Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum.”