UN Seeks $1billion for victims of Boko Haram
The United Nations is seeking over $1billion to address the tragic humanitarian crises in Northeastern Nigeria devastated by the activities of Boko Haram Islamic terror group in the last seven years. “This is the largest crisis on the African continent and I am confident that with the support of the international community and the private sector, we can begin to bring hope to the people of the north-east,” stressed Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator.
The funds are needed to address the challenges faced by about 6.9 million people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe where the crises have had the most devastating effects. The UN says the Humanitarian Response Plan will address the urgent problems of nutrition, food, shelter, health, protection, education, and water and sanitation needs. “The narrative on this humanitarian crisis can no longer be ignored and we are appealing to the international community to help us prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the coming 12 months,” stated Mr. Lundberg.
Adding her voice to the appeal, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning of Nigeria, said, “The Government have already demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate strong commitment to working together with the international humanitarian community,” to tackle the needs.
Reacting to the demand a pastor, who wants anonymity, in Maiduguri said, “This will be a great assistance to the hundreds of thousands of Christians displaced from their home and livelihood from Chibok all the way to Gwoza down to Madagali and beyond, but like you know, the Church is very skeptical of the implementation of these funds appropriately. Millions of dollars have already been spent in the Northeast, and you (Global Christian News) have seen the how little the effect has been. We have experienced bias in distributions. How many Christians communities have been built or rehabilitated compared to some communities that were not as badly affected? That is the concern of the Church here.”
Save the Children, has also called on the Nigerian government to use the loot recovered from corrupt government official in Nigeria to meet some of these needs. “Large sums of illicit finance from Nigeria are laundered through banks and the property markets in the UK,” citing the example of a Nigerian governor, James Ibori, the former governor of Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta State, who was jailed for 13 years by a British court in 2012 after he pleaded guilty to embezzling 50 million pounds ($63 million). The money needs to be repatriated to Nigeria to meet these needs. “It is difficult to think of any project more deserving of support against this criterion than the aid effort in northeast Nigeria,” read the report, which said that the British government should speed up the return of seized cash to Nigeria.
The Human Rights Watch insists that the funds and process of dissemination and use must be transparent. Citing the reaction of the Nigerian government to the reports of sexual abuses and stealing supplies meant for Internally Displace People (IDPs), the Nigerian government rather than opening up to monitoring,’ The latest news from Maiduguri is that the state authorities – apparently unhappy about the negative publicity that followed the sexual abuse report – have tightened restrictions around the camps.’ HRW says, ‘Aid programming must include gender and human rights awareness, and allow for the thorough monitoring and investigation of abuse and misconduct, including in food distribution.’