Stabilisation strategy and the humanitarian principles in the Lake Chad region

Humanitarian Talks


The ongoing conflict between regular military forces and non-state armed groups has been devastating the Lake Chad region (Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) for eleven years now, forcing more than three million people to leave their homes and creating one of the largest and most protracted humanitarian crises in the world. Building on some military gains in 2015 and 2016, the Lake Chad Basin Commission developed in 2018 a ‘Regional Strategy for the stabilisation, recovery and resilience of areas in the Lake Chad Basin’. The aim of the strategy is “to provide immediate stabilisation, to improve community safety and security, restore essential infrastructure and basic services and provide livelihood opportunities for households in the affected communities”. Although supportive of the need to address some the root causes of the conflict linked to lack of safety, access to social services and livelihood opportunities, the humanitarian actors have raised concerns about the way the stabilisation strategy has been implemented. In particular, they voice the risk that stabilisation operations, combined with counterinsurgency efforts, blur the line between military and civilian activities and that the humanitarian aid could be used as an instrument of the stabilisation strategy in breach of its core principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence. To understand better the priorities of the stabilisation strategy in the Lake Chad and the humanitarian concerns, please join the dedicated talk within the European Humanitarian Forum on 23 March.