JOHANNESBURG, 23 February 2017 – The ONE Campaign has praised Norway, Germany and Nigeria for highlighting the urgent humanitarian and development needs of North-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.
However, the anti-poverty group has warned that hosting is of course not enough. Now the co-hosts must coordinate the creation of a “strategic compact” for the complex challenges of the region, which includes Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad.
The conference is a key opportunity to generate a significant scale-up in funding for the humanitarian response in the region, and to develop a plan to end the cycle of violence and poverty that blights millions of people.
Without such ambition, the world is turning its back on the region and allowing hunger, poverty and extremist ideology – epitomised by groups such as Boko Haram – to prevail.
Speaking as delegates arrived in the Norwegian capital, Jamie Drummond, Co-Founder of ONE, said: “In particular North-eastern Nigeria is at the epicentre of three extremes – extreme poverty, extreme ideology and extreme climate – which have, in recent years, boiled over into a massive humanitarian crisis.
“In response we need a Strategic Compact that boosts education, employment and empowerment for the people in the region. We need funds for education to get the millions out of school back in; investment for employment to engage the frustrated young people in rebuilding the destroyed infrastructure of the region; and policies to empower citizens through supplying nutrition, food security and access to information that puts citizens back in control of their lives with dignity.
“Without rapid progress coming out of Oslo, across humanitarian development and security concerns, the world will witness a tragic deterioration in terms of hunger and famine and resurgence of longer term destabiliation and displacement in the region.”
- Much of the focus will be on securing funding to meet the emergency needs of those affected by the Boko Haram insurgency across the Lake Chad region i.e. in the affected areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger: the Humanitarian Response Plans adopted for 2017 by the UN and its partners have requested US$1.5 billion to assist 8.2 million people who urgently require humanitarian assistance. The UN Refugee Agency has also appealed for US$241 million to assist 460,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Chad and Niger, internally displaced people and returning Niger nationals. For more information click here.
- High profile individuals, including actor David Oyelowo and lead singer of U2 and global activist Bono, have called for action to address the situation in Borno. For more information please click here.
- Ahead of the Munich Security Conference, Bono wrote an Op-Ed calling for action to address the links between security and development in Suddeutsche Zeitung. Africa is our destiny is available to read here.
- Ahead of International Women’s Day (March 8), ONE will be continuing to campaign for more access to education for girls in the region and worldwide. There are millions of children out of school in the area, many of them girls. Poverty hits girls hardest, and without avenues to lift themselves up, such as education, this cycle will continue. The governments of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon should commit to breaking down every barrier to girls’ education by 2020, and appoint ministerial leads to design, and be accountable for implementing, strategies to achieve this aim within their Education Sector Plans. The strategies should at a minimum contain targets in the following areas:
- mitigating the barriers to girls’ education;
- equipping teachers with the tools they need to help girls succeed;
- harnessing data to advance accountability;
- connecting every classroom.
Donor governments need to support these efforts, through humanitarian aid for education and long-term aid.
Jamie Drummond is attending the conference and is available for interview
Contact Details: Chris Mitchell (+44 07901006799) / [email protected]
ONE is a policy and advocacy organization of more than 7.5 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE was co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono to raise public awareness and press political leaders to combat AIDS and other preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs.