UK’s aid to Northern Nigeria inadequate — British MPs
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.