Humanitarian situation in Nigeria remains dire: UN

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UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kang calls for additional funding to meet basic food needs of 3 million people in northern Nigeria.

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The humanitarian crisis emanating from Boko Haram’s terrorism in Nigeria remains dire, as a lack of donor support is inhibiting the expansion of a humanitarian footprint, a senior UN official said Monday.

Kyung-Wha Kang, UN’s assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council that as many as three million people in northern Nigeria would not be able to meet their basic food needs after July unless they received humanitarian assistance.

“Additional funding to address the acute humanitarian needs of those affected by the conflict is urgently needed,” Kang said.

Nigeria is fighting a six-year Boko Haram insurgency that has killed more than 7,300 civilians since the beginning of 2014, including 1,000 people in 2015 alone, according to the UN.

The ongoing conflict in northeastern Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin, where the militants have been the most ruthless, has forcibly displaced at least 1.5 million people in Nigeria and neighboring countries since May 2013, the UN says.

“The conflict continues to have a devastating impact on women, children and young people, as well as on many others who have been traumatized by violence,” Kang said.

Boko Haram militants swept over much of northeastern Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states last year as the group stepped up its militant activity in the restive region. The Nigerian military recently announced that all territories earlier captured by insurgents in these states had all since been “liberated.”

However, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the special representative of the UN secretary-general for West Africa, told the Security Council that the group, though weakened, continues to commit “horrendous acts against civilians, including against women and children.”

He also said that the group’s recent allegiance to Daesh was also a cause of concern as it gave a clear signal that Boko Haram’s agenda went “well beyond Nigeria.”

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