UN ignores Buhari, seeks record $2.7 billion aid for 7 million Nigerians affected by Boko Haram, others

IDP Camp
IDP Camp

Poverty, conflict and climate change will leave 15 million people across Africa’s Sahel belt in need of life-saving aid next year, the UN said as it launched a record $2.7 billion humanitarian appeal for the region in 2017.

Around 40 per cent of the money (about $1 billion) will be used to help some seven million people in Nigeria affected by the jihadist group Boko Haram’s seven-year insurgency, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN’s statement of about 7 million Nigerians needing help in the aftermath of the Boko Haram insurgency comes days after the Nigerian government accused the global body and other international organisations working in the north-east of exaggerating the crisis for financial reasons.

“We are concerned about the blatant attempts to whip up a non-existent fear of mass starvation by some aid agencies, a type of hype that does not provide a solution to the situation on the ground but more to do with calculations for operations financing locally and abroad,” Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement by his spokesperson.

The president highlighted what he said were contradictions in some of the claims made by different humanitarian groups about the crisis.

“In a recent instance, one arm of the United Nations screamed that 100,000 people will die due to starvation next year. A different group says a million will die,” he said.

Mr. Buhari was reacting to statements made by officials of international organisations including the UN highlighting the humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria.

The U.N. Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, Peter Lundberg, had said in a statement last Friday that “A projected 5.1 million people will face serious food shortages as the (Boko Haram) conflict and risk of unexploded improvised devices prevented farmers planting for the third year in a row, causing a major food crisis.”

Unperturbed by the Nigerian president’s remarks, the UN has decided to make the appeal to raise the funds to help the millions of victims.

OCHA has increased its appeal for eight countries in the semi-arid band stretching from Senegal to Chad more than tenfold in as many years, but each year funding has fallen short.

This year’s $2 billion appeal has been less than half-funded to date.

“The lack of funding this year has worsened the humanitarian needs of 11 million people in the Lake Chad Basin, where the crisis is most acute,” the U.N.’s regional humanitarian coordinator, Toby Lanzer, said.

One in six people across the Sahel are hungry, while in many communities throughout the region, a fifth of children under the age of five are malnourished, according to figures from OCHA.

In addition to violence involving militant groups, climate change is a major factor behind the growing number of vulnerable people across the region, as increasingly unpredictable rainfall patterns disrupt local food production, aid workers say.

“We are adapting by equipping farmers and policymakers with climate information and early warning forecasts, and being prepared not just weeks, but months and years ahead,” said Arame Tall, Africa regional coordinator of the U.N.-led Global Framework for Climate Services.

The vast number of vulnerable people, and those forced from their homes by violence across the Sahel, some 4.5 million, is fuelling migration to Europe and driving more young men to join militant groups, according to the UN.

Nigeria is the main country of origin for migrants arriving in Italy by sea this year, says the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

At least 34,000 Nigerians have crossed from Libya so far in 2016, up from 22,200 last year, IOM data shows.

“Families and communities are separated and split, education is disrupted, and dreams of success dashed,” said Anne Moltes, regional director of the peace building group Inter peace.

“If there is no structure, young men leave to find figures of authority elsewhere,” she said at the launch of the appeal.

Africa’s booming population, estimated by the UN to double to 2.4 billion by 2050, will only exacerbate the situation and leave more people in need of aid, Lanzer said.

The Sahel appeal was launched days after OCHA asked for a record $22.2 billion in 2017 to help almost 93 million people worldwide hit by conflicts and natural disasters.


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  • mayGodpunishopressors

    Under PMB/APC regime, 65% of Nigerians go to bed without food and it may be worse in 2017. PMB/APC instead of accepting criticism, they are busy fighting their critics.

    • FreeNigeria

      What do you expect from a brain dead president. He can’t reason with what he lacks.

      • Alex

        The people they want to feed says no!,but,they are still going ahead to raise funds on their behalf.Which countries those people have pretend to feed ever get feed? Is all about creating jobs for their NGO dogooders Cum spies.

      • Burbank

        And he thrashed your PhD president!

    • usman

      What was their source of livelihood before 2015? proceed of crime abi?

    • Burbank

      Under PDP, 100% of Nigerians go to bed with steaks, caviar, Turkey and fine wine.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    The priority of Mr Buhari is to wish away the human suffering in the NE, this insensitive President lives in a bubble of propaganda and would expect the entire world to believe that Boko-haram has been defeated and that all is well in the NE despite a reported more than 10 offensives launched directly on the Army in that 2 weeks by the terrorists. In the same light Buhari has neglected the daily killings in Kaduna and many parts of the NW but has chosen to militarize the peaceful SE in a bid to intimidate his much disliked Igbos as they celebrate their Christian Christmas and new year.

    THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS DONE WELL TO IGNORE THE SENSELESS POSITION OF THE INSENSITIVE BUHARI REGIME AND COME TO THE AID OF STARVING AND SICK MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO HAVE HAD TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES DUE TO INSECURITY IN THE NE !!

    • Burbank

      And you have file your biafra separation referendum request with your local governor for your LGA approval? No?

      Please, don’t sit on it.

      Or did Wike Obiano or Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi banned biafrans?

  • John Okolie

    The voices of nearly 3 million dead during the civil war are crying for justice. Sending the army to do a python dance or ignoring the effects of retributive justice in the north will not silence those voices. The rest of the world looked the other way while Igbos were being butchered, starved to death and mostly bought into the denials and attempts at wholesale cover ups.

    If the man won’t do anything for the country, he should be man enough to quit.

    • Mufu Ola

      He should quit so that an Ojukwu will become President.Abi? Some people are real joke.

      • John Okolie

        “If peradventure, President Buhari fails to fix the nation’s economy for four years, Nigerians are begging him to yield to the advice of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi who said the solution to Nigeria’ s problems was to split completely. This assertion of the late Gaddafi might sound unpolitical but it is a fact that if the situation persists without seeing the solution(s), disintegration policy should be adopted.”
        –Adewale Giwa (writing on Sahara Reporters)

        Ojukwu has been dead for some time now, but just for the sake of argument, your Buhari is not qualified in any way to clean Ojukwu’s shoes, not to talk of them competing in anything. It would be an overkill, thousands of times over.

        • Burbank

          And how many times have I told you that a dissatisfied woman that wants a divorce must file her divorce papers for separation.

          File your biafra separation referendum papers with your governor now, and after your state reps’ approval, you can have your biafra today.

    • Burbank

      Yet you have NOT submitted your biafra separation referendum request to your own elected governor for NASS approval!

  • asuevie

    Buhari cannot comprehend the workings of the UN. That figure includes everything: staffing, logistics, procurement etc.

    • Burbank

      You can.
      Run for president in 2023.

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    UN is a finan$ial game being played by some people. Just like the “amnesia”(amnesty)international doesn’t care the disasters that might follow the consequences of their false flag. It is now for Nigerians and African to determine what is good for them. Who knows if some disasters have sponsored in order for the unseen hands in the UN to justify their illegal appeal funds. Ask them where the huge funds are being spent? But what is the purpose of the UN? Should they be for crises management only or crises prevention body? Or both?. Big countries are allowed to take the smaller ones for a ride. I think it is high time this illegal and oppressive body is scrapped since they have outlived their importance. At the point of UN,5(super powers) is greater than 175(other countries). The rest of the world automatically become the subject of the so called world oppressors. So the interest of Nigeria doesn’t count,since it is UN,no wonder why the world has known no peace since the creation of these evil body.

  • Otile

    Imam Buhari is becoming a hypocrite. He cannot have it both ways in this case; he cannot continue borrowing money to feed the starving Northerners and yet come out to tell UN that these people are not or have not starved under his watch. That is dishonesty.

    • Burbank

      @otile my favourite born-again hypocrite bigot.

      You cannot have it both ways : either you condemned Imam Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as the founder sponsor of Boko Haram or you support Imam Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as the PDP boss.

  • Burbank

    Nobody refused aid from anyone.
    All assistance are welcome, be it food from UN for refugees in the North East or warplanes and drones from Pakistan Brazil and China to spray environmentally-friendly insecticide on the creeks of Niger Delta.