UNDP and Partners Validate Extension of the Regional Stabilization Facility for the Lake Chad Basin
Yaounde, 20th August 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Partners have today validated the extension of the Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF) in support of implementing the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience (RSS) of the Boko Haram affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin (LCB) Region – Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
The facility consisting of funding from Germany, Sweden, the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and France, provides a novel approach calibrated to respond to immediate challenges of governance, insecurity, the rule of law, human security, and livelihood in the Lake Chad Basin. It responds to the need for a step-change in the scale and nature of interventions, the speed of response, increased territorial coverage, and improved regional cooperation.
The official validation of the facility was done at a Multiparty Consultation in Yaoundé, Cameroon and brought together Senior Level Representatives from Donor Partners, the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), the African Union Commission (AUC), UNDP Resident Representatives, and stabilization teams working in the region.
“I wish to seize this opportunity for us to reflect on the implementation on the RSF proof of concept, define lessons learnt from the four countries, and determine a collective way forward to support the Lake Chad Basin in its fight against violent extremism,” said Jean-Luc Stalon, Resident Representative, UNDP Cameroon.
For years, countries in the Lake Chad Basin have tussled with various forms of insecurity. The region has witnessed acts of banditry, abduction, highway robbery and cattle rustling, among other challenges that have historically and collectively plagued the region. Amidst these issues, one of the most significant security challenges to confront the region remains the Boko Haram crisis. Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria have all endured the impact of this violent extremist problem that questions the state’s very existence and its capacity and willingness to provide human security. Therefore, the focus on conflict dynamics is to be understood as a critical examination of the broad spectrum of actors, structures and processes that spawn insecurity in the region while still placing centre-stage the Boko Haram phenomenon and how it connects with other conflict or security dynamics.
Over the past 18 months, the facility provided a proof-of-concept model that supported the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience (RSS) of the Boko Haram affected areas of the Lake Chad Basin Region which shaped stabilization activities in the region for the past two years.
Despite deteriorating security situations and the COVID-19 pandemic, progress has been made across the four-country windows as well as capacity support to the LCBC. Overall, 15 Joint Action Plans (JAPs) have been implemented, leading to the strengthening of security architectures, the rehabilitation of essential infrastructure and basic services, and the provision of livelihood opportunities critical to achieving stability in target communities. Additionally, 13 Community Stabilization Committees were created to address community security challenges, including structural agreements and actions to strengthen civil-military coordination, all necessary to rebuild the social contract.
The extension of the facility leverages the experience and successes of the past 18 months in target communities and ushers in a reinforced approach informed by experiences on the ground. It proposes that stabilization programmes should be primarily delivered with speed, at scale, and build the social contract to align with a conflict-sensitive approach to stabilization programming.
Speaking on what the extension and validation means for the Lake Chad Basin, Njoya Tikum, Manager, UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa, stated, “with this extension, we have an opportunity to consolidate on the momentum gained over the past 18 months which has taught us what works and what does not with regards to stabilizing the Lake Chad Basin. We are employing a very flexible approach to deliver at scale, with speed and with a focus on building the social contract – allowing us to lay the groundwork for sustained peace.”
During the high-level consultations, RSF Donor Partners reaffirmed their commitment to extending the facility while highlighting the need for improved collaboration with other development actors and recognizing the role of CSOs, women, and youth in driving the LCBC stabilization strategy’s success.
Working in complementarity with other actors in the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus ensures the smooth implementation of the LCBC regional strategy. Speaking on this, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and Head of Mission Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), stated, “Results from the RSF have been impressive. This points to the importance of scale and the need for the gains of RSF to be consolidated and sustained by governments and other HDP actors in the field. Therefore, there is a need for RSF to reach out to other partners at the local level, and both UN and non-UN-entities.”
UNDP first launched the facility at the 2019 Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development, and the upcoming 2021 Governor’s Forum is scheduled to hold in Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 4th to 5th October.
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