Responding to the humanitarian crisis in the northeastern region of Nigeria, the United Nations announced on Tuesday that it is allocating $10.5 million in relief aid to the conflict-ridden area.
The money will come from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The aid will assist the most vulnerable persons in northeastern Nigeria by funding 15 different projects, including the provision of safe drinking water, emergency shelters, and health services.
According to the UN, some 8.5 million Nigerians in Borno Adamawa, and Yobe States are in need of humanitarian aid.
This development was announced after the director of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), William Lacy Swing, visited the northeast from July 28 to July 30.
Mr. Swing reported that nearly two million people in the northeast have been displaced due to Boko Haram terrorism. More than half of the displaced persons are children, and 133,000 are infants.
The IOM director said that the crisis is “competing” with eight other crises, including those in Syria, Yemen, and South Sudan, for the attention of the world media.
During his visit, Mr. Swing met the Borno State deputy governor in Maiduguri to discuss the crisis. He said that the IOM is focusing on “livelihood interventions” for the displaced persons, teaching them skills and hobbies such as sewing, knitting, and barbershop work.
Mr. Swing also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja to discuss ways to prevent Nigerians from embarking on dangerous journeys to Europe.
In 2017, 9,000 Nigerians have migrated to Italy, but more than 2,000 migrants have died trying to cross the treacherous Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe.
“The idea is not to stop migrants. It’s about trying to save lives by counselling them about the risks of putting their lives in the hands of a smuggler,” Mr. Swing said.
Towards this end, the IOM has helped over 1,800 Nigerians return home from Libya.