By Ekemini Yemi-Ladejobi
The governments of the United Kingdom and the U.S. have yielded to President Muhammadu Buhari’s cry for more assistance to Boko Haram’s victim, as they pledged additional funds in support of those affected by Boko Haram in Lake Chad Basin.
While the UK pledged additional 80 million pounds, the U.S pledged 41 million dollars.
The pledge was made at the high level side event on humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, at the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.
According to Nigeria’s foreign affairs ministry on Saturday in Abuja, Tobias ELLwood, UK Minister for Africa, says “this is in addition to the 90 million pounds of humanitarian assistance we have already delivered in the region’’.
“50 million pounds will go toward meeting the needs of work in the affected communities in Nigeria, including food assistance and access to essential household items and services.
“And 30 million pounds to support those affected by the spread of Boko Haram into Cameroun, Chad and Niger.’’
He said the UK was proud of its humanitarian contributions, but call on international partners to do the same.
“It is imperative that the international community and governments in the affected region redouble the efforts,’’ ELLwood said.
“Our message to those millions affected by Boko Haram brutality is the same with our message to the Chibok girls and many others taken by the Boko Haram and their families.
“The world has not forgotten you ,we are doing what we can to help. UK support for the region is unwavering, ” he said.
Ms Samantha Power, U. S Ambassador to the UN, announced an additional $41million in humanitarian assistance to the region.
She said the U.S. Government has provided more than $380 million in humanitarian aid in the region since 2015, and “we would continue to do our part and we recognise that we have to do more”.
“The region is desperately in need of support, the citizens and governments of the region cannot do it alone as they made it clear today , we need to dramatically increase the international assistance we are dedicating to this.
Power quoted the UN as saying that it needed $542 million to meet the unilateral needs of the people in the region just between September and December 2016.
She noted that the amount was more than three times what countries had given so far, this year.
“To give a sense of the human stance according to the UN, in Nigeria’s Borno alone, an estimated 134 children will die every day of severe acute malnutrition unless they are treated.
“At that rate over the course of this meeting, 12 boys and girls will die and that is just a slipper of the consequences when we come up short.
She, therefore, called on every government here to find ways to step up the support.
President Muhammadu Buhari had to the international community to help relieve the growing humanitarian disaster triggered by the Boko Haram insurgency in a plea for aid at the UN General Assembly.
Warnings about food shortages caused by the conflict in the country’s northeast and the broader Lake Chad region have intensified in recent months, with humanitarian organisations cautioning of a looming famine.
Speaking in New York, Buhari said that the devastation wrought by Boko Haram had been compounded by climate change.
“We are renewing the call for re-dedicated international action to end the humanitarian needs of victims and address the root causes of terrorism itself,” Buhari said.
“(The) complexities and severity of humanitarian crises across the world have increased in recent times, resulting in devastating repercussions.
“The dual impact of climate change and terrorism-cum-insurgency has created deeper implications for peace and security.”
Lake Chad, straddling the borders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon in West Africa, is shrinking, leaving surrounding communities without freshwater.