International

7 million people need life-saving assistance in Nigeria: UN

The 10-year-old crisis in northeast Nigeria has left over seven million people in need of life-saving assistance, including three million who are food insecure, a UN spokesman said Tuesday.

Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the crisis also internally displaced some 1.8 million people, and “this number is rising due to the continued violent clashes between non-state armed groups and Nigerian security forces”.

In 2009, Boko Haram militants launched an insurgency with the goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria. Over 27,000 people were killed in the country’s northeast as a result of the conflict, according to media reports.

Despite the insecurity, the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have reached more than 2 million people with aid, Haq said, adding the 2019 Humanitarian response plan for Nigeria sought 848 million U.S. dollars to help 6.2 million people, but it was only 33 percent funded.

Beyond Nigeria, he said, the Boko Haram insurgency is also affecting Cameroon, Chad and Niger, with nearly 10 million people in need of humanitarian assistance across the Lake Chad region.

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Haq noted the humanitarian community was seeking 1.3 billion dollars for the region for 2019, but the appeal was only 20 percent funded.

GNA

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