North-East: UN to Probe Alleged Diversion of Funds for Humanitarian Assistance

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By Paul Obi and Alex Enumah

Following several complaints against the diversion of funds and resources such as food items for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-east, the United Nations (UN) said on Monday that it will investigate the matter.

It assured that it would probe alleged cases of diversion of funds meant to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of terrorism and IDPs currently being ravaged by hunger and malnutrition occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

There have been increasing cases of diversion of foodstuffs and other resources, with the government and UN agencies unable to stop the menace.

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr. Toby Lanzer, while addressing journalists in Abuja on his recent visit to some communities in Borno State, assured of their readiness to look into the matter and find possible solutions.

Responding to the question of alleged diversion of funds in the region, Lanzer said such allegation, “is not representing what we are. If we have details of cases of this diversion, we would definitely look into it”.

While commending both the federal government and the Borno State government on their efforts towards ameliorating the plights of victims of insurgency in the country despite the drop in oil production which is down by 60%, the envoy called for more collaborative assistance from other international agencies and governments.

He added that the rebuilding of the region is not something that can be tackled by a single government.

“There is no question that much more needs to be done in Bama, and indeed in other key towns of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, and more broadly across the entire Lake Chad Basin.

“The scale of the crisis in the region is staggering: 9m people need emergency relief; 4.5m people are severely food insecure; 2.5m people have been forced from homes”, he said.