FG committing significant share of 2017 budget to Northeast – Onyeama

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New York – The Federal Government will commit a significant share of the 2017 budget to confront the security and humanitarian situation arising from the Boko Haram terrorism, the Minister of of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said.

Geoffrey-Onyeama

Onyeama made the remarks on Friday at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, according to a statement by the Office of the UN Secretary-General.

The Minister, however, appealed for the support of the international community to address the huge humanitarian crisis brought about by years of activities of the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast.

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

“We also need all the help and support we can get from the international community,” Onyeama said.

Recalled that giving voice to people affected by conflicts in the region, the global UN-supported humanitarian conference, hosted by Norway jointly with Nigeria and Germany, generated more than 670 million U.S. dollars in pledges.

The fund 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-hit 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.

Dominique Burgeon, Director of FAO Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, 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 a public health crisis in the region.

Dr Rick Brennan, Director of WHO Emergency Operations, in the presentation, said the crisis in the region was also a public health crisis “with the rates of death, malnutrition and disease rarely seen over the past 20 years”.

The WHO official explained that “between malnutrition and death, there is always disease.

“Malnutrition lowers the body’s capacity to fight infection.

“A malnourished child is far more prone to contract an infectious disease such as pneumonia, diarrhea and measles – and then to die from that disease,” he said.

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