DAKAR – Germany has contributed €25.5 million (US$28.5 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to assist more than 730,000 hungry people in the four-nation Lake Chad Basin region that is battling the devastating Boko Haram insurgency, among other shocks.
The contribution supports WFP’s activities in Nigeria (€10.5 million), Cameroon (€5.6 million), Chad (€4.7 million) and Niger (€4.7 million). The funds are especially timely, as the imminent lean season – the period between harvests –is depleting people’s resources and intensifying hunger and malnutrition.
More broadly, this support illustrates Germany’s generous and continuing response to the UN’s call for global, immediate action to address the Lake Chad Basin emergency, Africa’s largest humanitarian crisis. Northeast Nigeria, receiving the biggest share of assistance, risks tipping into famine.
“When I travelled to the Lake Chad Basin recently, I found a critical humanitarian situation,” said Hinrich Thölken, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the International Organizations in Rome. “A huge number of internally displaced people are in urgent need of food assistance, and WFP is well-placed to deliver quick and effective relief. We are happy to give additional support so WFP can do so.”
The German contribution will support WFP’s food and cash-based assistance to more than 680,000 internally displaced people and refugees in the four countries. It will also benefit 17,000 young pupils in Niger and Cameroon who are enrolled in WFP’s emergency school meals programme. In addition, it will allow40,000 children under five to receive special fortified foods that fight malnutrition.
“At a time when WFP faces a sizeable funding shortfall in our emergency response across the Lake Chad Basin region, Germany’s contribution is extremely welcome news,” said Abdou Dieng, head of WFP’s Regional Bureau for West and Central Africa. “It will help us reach thousands of the most vulnerable at a time when hunger is increasing with the approaching lean season, when people’s stocks are running out before the next harvest.”
Germany, which has consistently remained a key supporter of WFP operations globally, became its second largest donor in 2016. Through their enormous generosity, the people and government of Germany have helped to save lives in many crises, including operations in Syria, as well as to refugees in neighbouring countries, where millions of people rely on WFP assistance everyday.