The United Kingdom has announced a humanitarian support worth £200million for Nigeria’s insurgency-ravaged North East.
UK’s International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced this today when he and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson visited Borno State, which is at the heart of the insurgency.
The support is an allocation of DFID Nigeria’s budget for four years from 2018 – 2022, building on UK’s existing £100 million of humanitarian support for 2017 that Patel announced earlier this year, according to a statement from the British High Commission said.
It is also part of the UK’s efforts aimed at averting famine and building stability and security in the region and will boost the DFID’s humanitarian programme by enabling the provision of lifesaving food for more than 1.5 million people on the brink of famine.
Furthermore, it will, among other things, allow for the treatment for up to 120,000 children at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition; and help keep 100,000 girls and boys in school to get a decent education, providing a brighter future for the next generation.
Johnson and Patel are on their first joint visit to Nigeria and were in Borno to assess the impact of the UK’s security and humanitarian efforts, and how the British military have been providing training to Nigerian soldiers fighting Boko Haram on the front line.
Commenting on the impact of the insurgency, Patel said, “It is catastrophic that at least 20,000 people have been murdered by Boko Haram’s terrorist regime, and over five million people have been left hungry and many homeless. Babies’ bodies are shutting down and mothers who have lost everything are fighting to keep their children alive.”
He promised that the UK would not turn its back on people living in danger and desperation.
To this end, he said, “We are leading the way on the international stage through our world-class development, defence and diplomacy, providing a lifeline to over 1.5 million people on the brink of famine, tackling Boko Haram and pushing for global aid reform to deliver help more effectively.”
Johnson, on his part, gave an insight into his experience during the visit and is proud of the UK’s support.
“Boko Haram has generated suffering, instability, and poverty on a huge scale, with profound knock on effects far from Nigeria’s borders, and I am proud of Britain’s commitment to supporting the Nigerian people in tackling terror,” Johnson said.
“In Maiduguri I met casualties of Boko Haram violence, including bomb and gunshot victims, and saw for myself the displacement of people that brutality and poverty have created.
“Our military, diplomatic and development assistance is making a big difference. The British military has to date trained 28,000 Nigerian troops, equipping them with skills to turn the tide against Boko Haram, while our humanitarian aid is alleviating widespread suffering. This is about helping a Commonwealth partner in its time of need as well as addressing the root causes of international challenges such as migration.”
The new package of emergency relief announced today also includes the restoration of key infrastructure and services in north east Nigeria.