Archival Institute welcomes Senior Fellow John Melkon to lead an international team tasked to build a statistical model to meeting the challenges of migration and other problems causing regional instability in Africa’s Chad Basin. The task force will examine the leading causes of displacement and migration–  unemployment; climate change including deforestation and desertification; civil service needs such as healthcare, education, housing, and security; corruption; and the activities of rebel or extremist groups operating in the region. The model will present guidance for local governments, businesses, NGOs, and nonprofits to coordinate operations and maximize the effectiveness of the overall mission.

Over the past year, Archival Institute has observed and identified the following problems. The size of the displaced population has exceeded 60m growth in the number of emerging slum cities that currently have no urban planning opportunities to expand. In addition many of these are in areas that are economically, politically, and socially unstable increasing risks to conflicts that could become unmanageable for local governments, international AID programs, and peacekeeping efforts. The ripple effects from lack of water, sanitation, food etc have already impacted health and economic recovery.

Currently there is no streamlining international efforts across these areas to provide coordination and oversight to optimize efficiency and impact. While some territories are threatened by extremist occupation, other areas are safe and stable enough to maintain security while investing in planning and development efforts to meet the needs of the migrant, displaced, and refugee population. Russia and China are currently exploiting the resources and native populations which have in some ways multiplied the migration problem.

The countries included in the Chad Basin and the US share the need for investment in critical infrastructure and US companies are able to compete with Russia and China. The US team will lead by example to establish fair and reciprocal partnerships with the public and private establishments of the region and compete with aggressive Russian, Chinese, European Union operations. These reciprocal partnerships will allow investing companies opportunities in both the US and Africa which will offset some of the risk factors for these investments.   

The task force will initiate fair and reciprocal partnerships internationally in public and private sectors to build critical infrastructure both on the continent of Africa while also updating the deteriorated infrastructure within the US. This includes land and water resources, transportation, and energy. Targeted geographic areas will take into consideration safety and stability, urban planning and economic growth, and long-term sustainability. The task force will determine the best places to facilitate growth in order to absorb the increasing population of migrants and displaced people.  The team will seek to provide immediate but short-term civil services during the migration transition such as food, shelter, healthcare and other AID. The project will also be used to gain intel in this part of Africa and expertise in managing co-development projects across developed and underdeveloped countries.

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