(NAN) The U.S. is providing 37 million dollars additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the insurgency and severe food insecurity in Nigeria and its neighbours, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria says.
The mission announced the package in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, saying the assistance would be provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The mission said three senior U.S. officials announced the offer after a trip to Nigeria’s Northeast Zone where the humanitarian needs were most acute.
It said the U.S. officials were Nigeria Mission Director Michael Harvey, U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Director Jeremy Konyndyk and Office of Food for Peace Deputy Director Matt Nims.
“With this announcement, the U.S. is providing more than 318 million dollars (about 95 billion naira) in humanitarian assistance since fiscal year 2015 to the Lake Chad Basin region.
“Also, the U.S. continues to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region,” the mission said.
It said the savagery of Boko Haram had triggered a humanitarian crisis in Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad Basin region.
“Families have been driven from their homes, millions are left without enough to eat, and human rights abuses are widespread.
“Despite gradually improving security conditions, the humanitarian situation remains dire.
“Throughout the region, approximately five million people need emergency food assistance and 2.5 million people are displaced,” it said.
The mission said new funding to UN and non-governmental organisation partners would help tens of thousands of people to receive critically needed humanitarian assistance.
It listed the humanitarian assistance to include food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection and nutritional needs.
“The food assistance will be delivered to conflict-affected communities in the Diffa Region of Niger, including populations who fled their homes following the recent attacks in Bosso.
“This new food assistance will be coordinated with the humanitarian community in Nigeria to scale up the overall regional food response,” the mission said.