Boko Haram region could become world's worst crisis - UN

2016-09-30 22:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva  - Without more donor support the emergency caused by Boko Haram will become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, a top UN official said on Friday, as a massive appeal remained just a quarter funded.

The United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed.

"I have worked in Darfur," Lanzer told reporters, referring to the war-torn Sudanese region. "The scale and the depth of suffering that I have seen (in Nigeria) is unparalleled in my experience."

Nigeria-born Islamist group Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency in the country's northeast, with violence spreading more recently to western Cameroon as well as the south of Chad and Niger.

The UN has appealed for a $739m to cover needs across the entire affected region - known as the Lake Chad Basin - but has received commitments for just $197m.

"If we don't engage in a much more comprehensive manner, including scaling up our emergency relief programmes, what awaits us down the line is the biggest crisis facing any of us, anywhere," Lanzer said.

'Famine-like conditions'

More than nine million people are in "desperate" need of aid, Lanzer said.

The United Nations had not declared a famine in the Lake Chad Basin, but Lanzer warned that 65 000 people were living in "famine-like conditions".

The UN has also said that up to 80 000 children in the region could die if they do not get food aid within the next year.

When Boko Haram violence was at its peak through 2013 and 2014, the UN and other aid groups were unaware of the gravity of needs because access to conflict-ridden areas was largely impossible.

Nigeria's military has since made gains against the extremists and emergency workers have moved in, unveiling a catastrophe unrivalled "anywhere except that of Syria," Lanzer said, warning the Lake Chad could overtake Syria in terms of the scale of the needs.

The Boko Haram conflict, which began in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has displaced an estimated 2.6 million people.

At least 20 000 have died in violence blamed on the Islamists group, but the numbers killed by causes linked to the conflict are likely much higher.

Read more on:    un  |  boko  |  haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.