Nigerian victims of Boko Haram insurgency will benefit about NOK1.6 billion (N60 billion) in aid from Norway within the next three years, that country’s authorities announced Friday.
About N27 billion of the amount will be disbursed this year alone, according to a statement by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Borge Brende.
“The Government has proposed a three-year commitment to provide up to NOK1.6 billion in humanitarian and development aid for the period 2017-2019,” Mr. Brende said.
The diplomat’s comments came when he spoke at the ongoing international donor conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region in Oslo, the Norwegian capital.
Mr. Brende decried the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged Northeast, where an estimated 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since 2009.
‘We urgently need to put an end to this crisis. It is affecting an area with a population of 26 million, and is threatening the whole region.
“Unless we make a concerted effort now, the situation will get even worse, with inevitable consequences,” Mr. Brende said.
Mr. Brende further stated that NOK150 million (about N5.6 billion) out of Norway’s NOK729 million (about N27.5 billion) humanitarian intervention budget for 2017 will go into providing food for the displaced Boko Haram victims.
“This humanitarian funding will be channelled through the UN, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and various Norwegian NGOs in north-eastern Nigeria and the other countries around Lake Chad – Niger, Cameroon and Chad,” Mr. Brende said.
Mr. Brende said Norway will provide other developmental supports for long-term survival of the people of the north-east, especially in the areas of basic infrastructure, health and education.
He said the UN will track all the donations members of the international community have pledged towards the Northeast humanitarian efforts, adding that the world body will ensure transparency and accountability for all the funds received.
The conference was arranged together with Nigeria, Germany and the UN. Around 170 people from 40 countries, UN and civil society organisations took part.