The United States government has announced that it will provide at least $37m in additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by Boko Haram insurgency and food insecurity in the North-East and other areas of the Lake Chad Basin.
According to a statement issued and made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, the US government is providing the aid through its Agency for International Development.
The statement read in part, “The savagery of Boko Haram has triggered a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad Basin region. Families have been driven from their homes, millions are left without enough to eat, and human rights abuses are widespread. Despite gradually improving security conditions, the humanitarian situation remains dire. Throughout the region, approximately five million people need emergency food assistance, and 2.5 million people are displaced.”
The US said the aid fund given to the United Nations and Non-Governmental Organisation partners, would help tens of thousands of people to receive “critically needed humanitarian assistance,” including food, water, shelter and services to address acute hygiene, protection and nutritional needs.
“The food assistance will be delivered to conflict-affected communities in the Diffa Region of Niger, including populations who fled their homes following the recent attacks in Bosso. This new food assistance will be coordinated with the humanitarian community in Nigeria to scale up the overall regional food response,” the statement added.
Three senior USAID officials, Nigeria Mission Director, Michael Harvey, US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Director, Jeremy Konyndyk, and Office of Food for Peace Deputy Director Matt Nims, made the announcement following a trip to the North-East, where the humanitarian needs are most acute.
“With this announcement, the United States is providing more than $318m in humanitarian assistance since 2015 to the Lake Chad Basin region and continues to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region.
“In addition to humanitarian funding, USAID provides targeted assistance that seeks to reduce extreme poverty and improve the quality of life for Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities through improved governance and civic participation at the federal, state and local levels; reduced corruption; a strengthened private sector as a source of job creation; and improved quality of social service delivery,” the statement said.