ONE Campaign: Oslo summit builds momentum to help crisis-struck Nigeria and Lake Chad region – but partners must do more and be held accountable for delivery so pledges become lives saved
The life-saving funds pledged today [FRIDAY] at the Oslo Conference to address the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region must flow through fully transparent budgets, warned ONE Co-Founder and Executive Director of Global Strategy Jamie Drummond.
One third – US$458m – of the $1.5bn needed to avert famine, provide emergency education, shelter, water and other essential needs was pledged at the hastily called summit.
Drummond, who attended the Oslo conference, said: “We must be thankful – especially to the co-hosts, Norway, the UN, Germany and Nigeria – for bringing the conscience of the world this far and agreeing to action.
“Three urgent things must now happen. First, donors like the US and UK who kept their cheque books in their pockets in Norway must step up, and Nigeria’s wealthy elite must also do more.
“Second, all the funds pledged must flow through fully open budgets and open contracts and local anti-corruption activists must be more supported – so they can follow the money down to every camp, clinic and classroom . Because accountability is the anchor for any long term success.
“And third, the ‘consultative group’ announced by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel must design a strategic development compact for the region to be put before the G20 meetings in Germany later this year, followed by further investment into the education, employment and empowerment of the region’s booming youth population.”
At the conference, which concluded today FRIDAY FEB 24/17, 14 donor countries pledged of US$458 million for 2017 and $214 million for 2018.
The European Commission, Norway, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Italy, Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Republic of Korea all made pledges.
One of the world’s largest humanitarian crises is currently unfolding in the Lake Chad region with 17 million people living in the most affected areas. Nearly 11 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance and the whole region needs a smart long term development partnership or this crisis will recur.
“Momentum has been achieved – but success hangs on all partners being held accountable so the funds pledged becomes lives saved.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
o mitigating the barriers to girls’ education;
o equipping teachers with the tools they need to help girls succeed;
o harnessing data to advance accountability;
o connecting every classroom.
Donor governments need to support these efforts, through humanitarian aid for education and long-term aid.