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Buhari convenes meeting of leaders of Lake Chad Basin Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), is to convene a consultation of Heads of State and Government of the LCBC.

Lake Chad

Scientists say the Lake Chad, that borders Nigeria and some other countries, has shrunken by 95 percent over the past 50 years. They have also linked the Boko Haram insurgency to the lake’s situation. Photo credit: AP/Christophe Ena

Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja, said the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the LCBC would take place in N’Djamena, Chad, on Thursday, November 29, 2018.

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Also, the President of Benin Republic, a troops-contributing country, has also been invited to attend.

According to the statement, the one-day meeting will review the security situation in the areas affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

He said it would also adopt measures to enhance the capacity of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to meet the challenges of securing the areas.

“The presidents of the LCBC member countries of Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Central African Republic have been invited to attend the meeting.

“The President of Benin Republic, a troops-contributing country, has also been invited to attend.

“The MNJTF and the national operations of the affected countries have appreciably degraded the capacity of Boko Haram terrorists, although the insurgents still retain the capacity to attack isolated targets in desperate search for supplies,’’ the statement added.

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The UN says millions of people in Africa’s Lake Chad region (northeast Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon) are facing a profound and protracted crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict.

The crisis, the world body added, has led to the internal displacement of 2.4 million people, the destruction of livelihoods, human rights abuses, and the disruption of health, education and other basic services.

More than 10 million vulnerable people need life-saving assistance and protection today. Women and children are particularly hard hit.

In February 2017, a conference on the Lake Chad region co-hosted by Germany, Nigeria, Norway, and the United Nations took place in Oslo. Donors pledged $672 million to emergency assistance and support in 2017 and beyond.

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The humanitarian response was scaled up significantly: more than six million people were reached with assistance in 2017, and a famine was averted in northeast Nigeria.

The UN says the humanitarian requirements for the region in 2018 total $1.56 billion, and efficient development assistance focusing on building resilience is also needed now.

By Ismaila Chafe

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