Desperate Appeal for Funds for Boko Haram Victims

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 1, 2018

Abuja - HUMANITARIAN agencies have appealed for US$157 million (R1,877 billion) to help over 250 000 people affected by the Boko Haram terror in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

"The Boko Haram crisis lingers on and is far from over", said UNHCR deputy high commissioner Kelly Clements while launching the appeal.

Nigerian refugees continue to flee to remote and impoverished communities in neighbouring countries and 47 United Nations agencies and humanitarian organisations will cater for the needs of some 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 people hosting them in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, the UNHCR said.

"The world should not forget the victims of this deadly conflict, especially as there appears to be little hope for a return to peace and stability in the near future", Ms. Clements underscored.

Since 2013, the Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, it said.

UNHCR called the menacing threat of food insecurity and severe malnutrition "one of the most devastating side effects of the conflict".

Chad and Cameroon are engaged alongside Nigeria and Niger in the battle against Boko Haram extremists, who first took the conflict across the border into Niger in 2015, with numerous raids around the region of Diffa.

The Muslim insurgency has rendered over 7 million people in the region food insecure.

She regretted that the situation had forced hundreds of schools to close, making education inaccessible and causing school attendance rates to drop.

The host communities sheltering refugees are "stretched to the limit" and are also "in dire need" of aid to boost their strained infrastructure and basic services including health, education, water and sanitation, UNHCR said.

In 2017, $241 million appeal was only 56 per cent funded, she regretted.

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