UN votes $248mln for Boko Haram victims

UN votes $248mln for Boko Haram victims

Thursday, March 24, 2016 4:00 pm

The IDPs in Adamawa

The IDPs in Adamawa

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has budgeted 248 million U.S. dollars to assist people affected by Boko Haram-related violence in Nigeria in 2016.

The Deputy Head, Public Information/Reports of UNOCHA, Mr Vincent Omuga made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“The Nigerian humanitarian country team under the leadership of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, made a plan for 2016 needs and we have requested for 248 million U.S. dollars.

“If we can mobilise the resources, what we think are required for effective response is 248 million dollars; that is what will guide us for 2016.’’

He explained that the budget was an estimate the UN required in order to deliver certain key services to victims of insurgency.

Omuga expressed the hope that substantial amount of money would be released to alleviate the sufferings of the Boko Haram victims.

“From our experience, we never get a hundred per cent funding but we get a substantial portion of our budget.

“For example in 2015, we got over half of what we asked for.

“So it is not for us to reduce the budget because what we asked for is normally the basic minimum dictated by our assessment of the need,” he said.

He said the UN would step up resources mobilisation, adding “through the goodwill of all the donors, we are hopeful we will be able to meet our target.

“It is just early in the year and I don’t want to be pessimistic”.

He expressed optimism that with the goodwill the UN had and with the support of donors and partners, a substantial amount of the money would be released.

Omuga, however, said the money would not meet all the needs of the people but it would complement government efforts.

For the immediate rapid response for 2016, Omuga said the UN had already allocated 10 million U.S. dollars to cater for some critical needs.

“There are three immediate triggers why we requested for the 10 million U.S. dollars.

“First, there is deterioration in the camps in Maiduguri because the number has become so many and outweighs the infrastructure that is already there.

‘`The second reason is that IDPs have occupied schools and institutions and as you are aware, the Borno Government decided to relocate them to new places’’, he said.

Omuga said part of the money would be used to provide alternative space for the IDP so that learning could resume in schools, which had been disrupted in some cases for close to two years.

‘`The third reason was shelter in some of those areas and the camps are not up to standard.The money will support eight formal camps that are being relocated,’’ he said.

UN released 58 million U.S. dollars to assist 2.4 million people affected by Boko Haram-related violence in 2015.

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