Boko Haram: UN Security Council plans visit to Nigeria

2017-01-13 10:10
File: AP

File: AP

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New York - The UN Security Council is planning a visit in the coming weeks to Nigeria and two other countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency which has sparked one of the world's biggest humanitarian crises.

British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the 15 envoys are hoping to visit northeast Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad which along with Niger are facing growing hardship, with nearly 11 million people in need of food aid.

"Underneath that suffering is the threat of Boko Haram, so that is an international peace and security issue as well as a humanitarian crisis," Rycroft told reporters on Thursday.

The UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien told a council meeting that he welcomed plans for a visit, expected to take place some time in February or March.

"What started as a protection crisis has become also a major food and nutrition crisis - today one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world," O'Brien said.

The top aid official said he hoped that 2017 could be a turning point for the region where some 2.4 million people have been displaced by the campaign waged by Boko Haram Islamists.

Only 49 percent of a $739m UN humanitarian appeal for the region was funded in 2016. For 2017, the UN appeal has doubled to $1.5bn.

US Ambassador Samantha Power, who visited the region in April last year and will step down next week, described the crisis as "extreme" and said a council visit would draw global attention to the humanitarian emergency.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  chad  |  cameroon  |  nigeria  |  west africa

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