Onyeama calls for more assistance to rebuild northeast

Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama. PHOTO: TWITTER/ GEOFFREY ONYEAMA

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said that the Federal Government plans to commit a sizable percentage of the 2017 budget to tackling the security and humanitarian situation caused by the Boko Haram terrorism in the northeast.

Onyeama, who dropped the hints during the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, Friday, also appealed for support of the international community to address the huge crisis caused by years of Boko Haram insurgency.

According to a statement by the Office of the UN Secretary-General, Onyeama said Nigeria needs all the help and support it can get from the international community to stem the deplorable humanitarian crisis.

“The Nigerian Government is committing significant budget to confront the security and humanitarian situation arising from the insurgency,” he stated.

It would be recalled that the global UN-supported humanitarian conference, hosted by Norway in collaboration with Nigeria and Germany, generated more than 670m U.S. dollars in pledges.

The fund, the statement said, would help sustain critical relief operations over the next two years and beyond, across the four countries of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger, where millions are in need of aid.

The donors’ forum also agreed on the need to address longer-term development requirements and to seek durable solutions for the crisis-ridden countries in the vast region.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one of the UN agencies attending the conference, said the humanitarian response efforts to Boko Haram devastations should enable the people to return to a dignified life.

Earlier, Director of FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, Dominique Burgeon in his presentation at the conference in the Norwegian capital, also stressed that aid assistance should focus on providing relief from the looming famine in the region,

“Supporting agriculture is the key to both,” he highlighted, noting that supporting farmers to cultivate food would help freeing many from being trapped in cycles of severe hunger.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in its presentation also underscored the need to address public health crisis in the region.The Foreign Affairs Minister led Nigeria’s delegation, even as the conference witnessed the participation of no fewer than 170 representatives from 40 countries, UN, regional and civil society organisations.

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Geoffrey Onyeama
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