From EMEKA OKONKWO
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – AN international confederation of charitable organizations has called on governments and decision-makers to first resolve humanitarian and security problems before investing in reconstruction in the Lake Chad Basin.
Recently, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the North East Development Commission, aimed at fast tracking the process of reconstruction.
Oxfam, which is focused on the alleviation of global poverty, said investing in the revival of infrastructure would be detrimental as this would be destroyed.
“It would be folly to think about a new stabilization strategy that, for instance, calls for donor investment into farming and livelihood projects if people cannot access their fields,” said Aurore Mathieu, Oxfam’s Campaigns Manager for the Lake Chad Basin.
The area is beset by the Islamic Boko Harm group that has killed an estimated 100 000 civilians and damaged infrastructure during a violent campaign to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria.
The violence has spread to neighbouring countries.
Food insecurity is gradually deteriorating in all the Basin countries of Cameroon, Chad Niger and Nigeria where some 515 000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
Mathieu said the Lake Chad Basin is the only area in West Africa where there was no sign of improvement in the food security situation.
“In fact, it’s getting worse.”
At the beginning of the year there were 7,1 million people in need of food. Today there are 7,2 million.
Oxfam welcomed initiatives that would help to stabilize the conflict area but was wary of misplaced priorities.
“We believe that the security situation in some locations is still so fragile, and the humanitarian situation so dire, that these are problems a stabilization plan must first look to resolve,” Mathieu said.
– CAJ News