The United Nations, UN, has said it is planning to raise over $1 billion to address the needs of about 6.9 million people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
The plan is within the framework of an 18-month deadline the global body has set to ensure that the people displaced by the insurgency in the north-east are reintegrated into their communities.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Edward Kallon, who disclosed this on Thursday at a parley with reporters in Abuja, said over 450,000 children would suffer from severe acute malnutrition in Borno State alone if the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, were not resettled within the set target.
Mr. Kallon described the crisis as the fourth largest in the world. He said the challenges confronting Nigeria were enormous, saying they include security, governance and economy.
According to Mr. Kallon, the insurgency in north-east poses threat to the region’s economic and long-term development.
“The challenges are enormous and solvable. As UN body, we are providing support to the Federal and state governments on the crisis.
“76 per cent of the survivors of Boko Haram attack presently live in Borno State”, Mr. Kallon added.
To provide a lasting solution, he called for the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in tackling the situation.
“There are 14 million people that have been affected by the Boko Haram and the plan is to assist 6.9 million and expect the governments to provide assistance for the rest 7.1 million people.
“The Humanitarian Response Plan 2017 for Nigeria seeks more than $ 1 billion to meet the needs of the 6.9 million people targeted.”
The conflict in Nigeria’s north-east provoked by Boko Haram, resulted in widespread displacement, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, protection risks and a growing humanitarian crisis.
Since the start of the conflict in 2009, about 100,000 people have been killed according to official figures, countless women and girls abducted, and children drafted as suicide bombers into Boko Haram.
Up to 2.1 million people fled their homes at the height of the conflict, 1.8 million of whom are currently internally displaced and 0.2 million in neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
In the three most affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, almost seven million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 50 per cent of whom are children.
In newly accessible areas, vulnerable host populations are in critical need of humanitarian interventions including food, water, sanitation, protection, education, shelter and health services.