The United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle on Thursday announced the award of additional $10.5m grant by the US Agency for International Development in humanitarian assistance for Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
With this new funding, total US humanitarian assistance to the region since the start of the Boko Haram crisis amounts to about $44m.
Speaking during the grants signing ceremony witnessed by Governors Kazeem Shetima of Borno and Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe States at the US embassy, Abuja, the envoy stated that the facility would support the activities of the United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children Fund and the World Health Organization the Punch reports.
Entwistle stated that he witnessed firsthand some of the immediate needs of victims of Boko Haram’s reign of terror when he visited Yola recently, including shortage of food, lack of basic healthcare services and other socio-economic problems.
He said, “With these agreements, USAID will provide $10.5m in additional humanitarian service to UNICEF, the WHO and UNPF. As a result of this funding, total amount of humanitarian assistance for North-Eastern Nigeria from the United States will reach almost $44m and the funding will supply nutritional supplements for malnourished children, healthcare services to those living in camps or with host communities, clean water and sanitation, hygiene supplies and protection services to affected population.”
Shetima lauded the US government for the assistance and praised Entwistle for his personal interest in the situation in the North-East, assuring them that the crisis would end soon.
The governor noted that poverty which he said was the cause of the insurgency, had further worsened the situation in the region, adding that the population of Maiduguri had skyrocketed to 3 million from 1.5 million.
He called on other rich countries to assist the people of the areas affected by the insurgency, noting that his administration had developed a robust platform for job creation, education and agriculture.
“Poverty was the cause of the crisis and it is a reality of everyday life in the North-East, but now, Boko Haram has further pauperised us, but I believe we will overcome it, my government has developed a robust platform for job creation, the education system and we have invested in systems to grow the agriculture sector,” Shetima said.