UK’s aid to North­ern Nige­ria in­ad­e­quate — Bri­tish MPs

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran­cis Arinze Iloani

Hu­man­i­tar­ian fund­ing from the United King­dom to in­sur­gency-rav­aged North-east Nige­ria is small com­pared to sim­i­lar aids to other coun­tries fac­ing crises, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by the In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee (IDC) of the House of Com­mons.

The IDC is ap­pointed by the House of Com­mons to ex­am­ine the ex­pen­di­ture, ad­min­is­tra­tion and pol­icy of the De­part­ment for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (DfID)and its as­so­ci­ated pub­lic bod­ies.

Chair­man of the com­mit­tee Stephen Twigg said “Poverty re­duc­tion should be cen­tral to ev­ery­thing DfID does.”

“While DfID’s com­mit­ment to hu­man­i­tar­ian sup­port in the North-east is wel­come, it does ap­pear that its re­sponse to the cri­sis has been small rel­a­tive to the over­whelm­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port of­fered to other crises,” the re­port said.

The re­port cited the Syr­ian cri­sis to which the UK in 2015 com­mit­ted $635mil­lion in hu­man­i­tar­ian fund­ing while it only com­mit­ted $6mil­lion in Nige­ria.

While the re­port acknowledged the dif­fer­ence in the scale of the two crises, it noted that there was still a large im­bal­ance in the fund­ing per per­son af­fected in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe states.

“We are con­cerned about the gap be­tween hu­man­i­tar­ian needs and avail­able funds. We are par­tic­u­larly trou­bled by the num­ber of out of school chil­dren and the long term im­pacts this is likely to have on the region’s de­vel­op­ment, po­ten­tially fur­ther widen­ing the gap be­tween the North and South of Nige­ria,” the re­port added.

The DfID pro­gramme in Nige­ria also said the UK had not done enough to sal­vage col­laps­ing ed­u­ca­tion and health sys­tems in the North as a re­sult of the Boko Haram in­sur­gency.

“The rel­a­tively low level of sup­port con­trib­uted to a se­ri­ously un­der­funded UN Nige­ria ap­peal last year, with the 2015 ap­peal, only 58 per­cent funded and sup­port to ed­u­ca­tion be­ing the most un­der­funded sec­tor at 25 per­cent,” the re­port said.

The agency ad­vised that as­sur­ing par­ents of the safety and se­cu­rity of schools in north­ern Nige­ria should be a pri­or­ity.

“The driv­ers of con­flict in Nige­ria are mul­ti­fac­eted and com­plex, de­mand­ing a deep level of un­der­stand­ing and care­ful en­gage­ment with rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers,” the re­port said.

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