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UN seeks $157m to aid victims of Boko Haram insurgency

31 gennaio 2018 | 14.28
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Photo: AFP

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and its regional partners on Wednesday appealed for 157 million dollars to help over a quarter of a million people in Africa's Lake Chad Basin region affected by the Boko Haram jihadist group's deadly insurgency.

Nigerian refugees continue to flee to remote and impoverished communities in neighbouring countries and 47 UN agencies and humanitarian organisations will cater for the needs of some 208,000 Nigerian refugees and 75,000 people hosting them in Niger, Cameroon and Chad, UNHCR said.

“The Boko Haram crisis lingers on and is far from over,” UNHCRd deputy high commissioner Kelly T. Clements said at the funding appeal's launch in Niger's capital Niamey.

“The world should not forget the victims of this deadly conflict, especially as there appears to be little hope for a return to peace and stability in the near future,” she said.

The Boko Haram conflict has internally displaced another 2.4 million people in northeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger since 2013, according to UNHCR.

One of the most devastating effects of the conflict is the alarming rise in food scarcity and the severe malnutrition populations are facing, the UN agency said

Over 7.2 million people in the Lake Chad Basin region lacked adequate food in September 2017, the agency stated.

"The future of young generations in the region is at stake, as food insecurity not only affects the dignity of families, but has serious consequences on the physical and cognitive development of children,” Clements warned.

The conflict has also had a devastating impact on education and school attendance rates. Hundreds of schools have been forced to close throughout the region - where education levels were already among the lowest worldwide, according to UNHCR.

The host communities sheltering refugees are "stretched to the limit" and are also "in dire need" of aid to boost their strained infrastructure and basic services including health, education, water and sanitation, UNHCR said.

A similar 2017 appeal of 241 million dollars for large-scale or complex refugee situations, was only 56 percent funded, said UNHCR.

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