Washington, DC - During a trip to the Lake Chad Basin region to highlight the growing threat of Boko Haram, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced from Cameroon nearly $40 million in new humanitarian assistance to support people whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram violence.
Approximately 7 million people are suffering displacement, deprivation, and disease from the consequences of armed conflict in Nigeria, including 2.2 million internally displaced. As a result of the prolonged crisis, communities who have generously hosted IDPs have also exhausted their resources and find themselves struggling to make ends meet. There are nearly 170,000 Nigerian refugees who have fled to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger – countries whose citizens have also suffered from Boko Haram attacks and consequent displacement. This funding will support the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Program (WFP), and other international aid organizations in the region to provide essential protection and assistance to those affected.
This new funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Lake Chad Basin humanitarian response in FY 2015 and FY 2016 to more than $237 million.
Funding announced today will allow UNHCR to provide Nigerian refugees with essential assistance, such as access to clean water and sanitation facilities, health care, essential household items, shelter, programs which protect children, and activities to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. It will also support UNHCR’s protection efforts across the region, including maintaining access to asylum and preventing refoulement. The U.S. contribution will also allow our partners to extend and expand the reach of emergency food assistance in northeastern Nigeria. By providing the most vulnerable people, including displaced persons, with cash and vouchers for food, the United States is promoting household food security while supporting local markets and trade.
In total, the UN estimates that there are 9.2 million people across the Lake Chad Basin region in need of immediate assistance and has requested $535 million for the 2016 response. The United States encourages other donors to join us in responding to this humanitarian crisis.