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EU boosts humanitarian aid to displaced Boko Haram victims

The European Commission is providing €21 million to help the populations in Nigeria and the neighbouring countries that are affected by the violence inflicted by Boko Haram.

EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides, who is visiting Nigeria to assess the humanitarian situation, said: “More than 1.7 million people have been displaced by the terror of Boko Haram. Many of them live in precarious conditions in other parts of Nigeria or the neighbouring countries where they have fled. Meeting some of them today, I saw with my own eyes the immense needs that the conflict is causing among civilians. We are stepping up our humanitarian response to the call of those in the greatest need”.

The Commissioner also expressed his grave concern over the lack of humanitarian access to the people who need help. “There are restrictions of access in many areas, in particular along Lake Chad. All possible efforts should be made to ensure that humanitarian organisations can be there for those who need their help,” Commissioner Stylianides said.

The new EU funding will provide immediate support, including clean water, food, shelter, healthcare and protection to the displaced and the host communities in the north-east of Nigeria, as well as to Nigerian refugees in the neighbouring countries. €12.5 million of this funding will be used to tackle the humanitarian challenges in Nigeria, and €8.5 million to support the refugees in Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

This new aid comes on top of relief that the Commission is providing to the most vulnerable people affected by food insecurity and malnutrition throughout Nigeria and its neighbouring countries. In 2015 and 2014, the European Commission has allocated more than €123 million and €107 million, respectively, to provide humanitarian assistance in Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
Commissioner Stylianides is in Nigeria to assess the humanitarian consequences of the Boko Haram terror activities.

He is meeting with displaced persons and relief organisations and discussing how EU aid can be put to the best use despite the difficult circumstances. Tomorrow, the Commissioner will hold meetings with Government representatives and civil society organisations.

The violent conflict in North-East Nigeria, with indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population, has displaced 1.5 million people within the country, and forced over 230 000 people to flee to neighbouring Niger, Cameroon, and Chad.
The displaced people in Nigeria live in precarious conditions and are in need of basic services. In addition, the security situation often prevents humanitarian organisations from reaching those in need to deliver basic supplies.

In the neighbouring countries, the newly arrived refugees put additional strain on the resources of the host communities which already suffer from the consequences of successive food crises and extreme poverty.

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