The United States government has announced that it will donate $92 million to assist people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and the rising food insecurity in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region. This comes just a month after the United Nations warned that at least 75,000 children, all victims of Boko Haram, were at risk of dying from hunger and starvation.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator Peter Lundberg described the crisis as unfolding at a “high speed,” while adding that an international effort was needed to address the situation.
“Our assessment is that 14 million people are identified as in need of humanitarian assistance. We need to reach out to the private sector [and] to philanthropists in Nigeria. We will ask international partners to step in because we can only solve this situation if we actually join hands.”
Earlier in August, the United States, through its diplomatic mission, announced a pledge of $37 million in humanitarian assistance to help Boko Haram victims get emergency food assistance. Most of the victims are currently being housed in IDP camps in northeast Nigeria and parts of Cameroon, Niger, and Chad.
The latest aid pledge brings the total contribution from the United States towards the Boko Haram crisis to $291 million, according to BBC. Most of that money that will go to the UN and NGOs to provide food, water, shelter, and health services.
While President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has recorded significant gains in its military offensive against the insurgents, the nearly decade-old conflict has resulted in farming and other agricultural activities being completely abandoned in the region.
Boko Haram, which translates to mean “Western education is forbidden” in the local Hausa language, is an Islamist terror group that has waged a violent war against Nigeria’s government, resulting in the deaths of more than 20,000 people.