The United States on Tuesday pledged $40 million in humanitarian assistance to countries bordering Lake Chad, fighting Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said the money is to help about seven million people affected by the insurgent group that has killed around 15,000 people.
Power was in the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, and met President Paul Biya and attended a ceremony to burn 2,000 tusks in a bid to end elephant poaching. The trip includes visits to Chad and Nigeria.
“We discussed the monstrous threat posed by Boko Haram and we agreed, and he was very forceful on this point, that the military response alone could not succeed in defeating Boko Haram in the long-term,” she said of her meeting with Biya.
Respect for human rights, good governance, economic and forest development and a focus on civil society were essential components of the campaign, she said.
Power has been scheduled to visit the region’s Multinational Joint Task Force, which is staffed with troops from Cameroon, Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Benin.
Power also called for financial support from the international community to aid the development of areas battered by Boko Haram.
It takes total U.S. aid to the sub-region since 2014 to $237 million, she said.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Samantha Power, is set to visit Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad for discussions on the growing threat the Islamic sect, Boko Haram poses to the Lake Chad Basin region.
A press statement from the United States Embassy said that the visit became necessary due to increasing concerns over the acute threat the group posed to civilians across the Lake Chad Basin and the group’s increasing lethality and relationship with the Islamic State also referred to as ISIS.
During her visit, Ambassador Power is expected to discuss ways to work with partners in the region to develop a comprehensive counter-Boko Haram effort that includes a more coordinated military campaign, improved humanitarian access and response, a well-resourced stabilisation and governance strategy, and expanded efforts to combat violent extremism.
In Cameroon, where she is expected to meet with government officials and civil society in its capital, Yaoundé, Ambassador Power will also travel internally to meet with refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and Cameroonian forces on the front lines of the regional effort to end the activities of the terrorist group.
She will also meet with government officials, civil society and civilians affected by the violence in Chad and visit the headquarter for the Multinational Joint Task Force, a regional military effort composed of the Boko Haram-affected states in the Lake Chad Basin.