ECOWAS President, Marcel de-Souza

• ECOWAS supports Borno IDPs with $1.4m
Alex Enumah in Abuja
The United States of America has announced that she will give nearly $92 million in additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the ongoing conflict and severe food insecurity in Nigeria and throughout the Lake Chad Basin region.

With this announcement, the US is providing more than $291 million in humanitarian assistance since the 2016 fiscal year to people affected by the Boko Haram-related conflict and the related humanitarian crisis.

The announcement, which was contained in a statement from the Public Affairs Section of the US Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria, added that with the figure, the US would continue to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region.

This new funding to United Nations and non-governmental organisation partners, the US noted, would help tens of thousands of people receive critically needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, shelter, and services to address acute hygiene, protection, and nutritional needs.

According to the US, the conflict has left more than 6.4million people in need of emergency food assistance and displaced another 2.6million in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroun and Chad.

 Only recently, the UN claimed that an additional $1billion was needed to meet the humanitarian needs of people in 2017.
The US in the statement, however, called on other donors to contribute additional humanitarian assistance for the millions of people in the region whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram.

Also, the ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel A. de Souza, has presented a cheque of $1million and food worth $400,000 to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.
De Souza said the food and financial assistance are part of contributions of his institution to persons displaced as a result of the insurgency by the Islamic group Boko Haram in that region of Nigeria.

In a statement from the Communication Division of ECOWAS, the president stated that the gesture underscores the importance the regional organisation attaches to the tragic events in the northern part of Nigeria.

The statement adds that Souza was impressed by the continuation of development programmes by the governor, despite enormous security challenges facing Borno State.
“This is the first time I am visiting Maiduguri as ECOWAS head and I realised that despite the current security situation, much constructive progress has been made, which is highly laudable,” Souza said.

“We heard reports on how markets, schools and public infrastructure were burnt and looted and we are here to see how you were able to meet the challenges in stages, which is quite laudable and we commend you for the exemplary measures,” he added.

The ECOWAS Commission President indicated that he had already met with United Nations officials as well as officials from National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) who presented to him some insights and data on humanitarian situation in Borno State.

He said: “Being very much affected by and highly sensitive to the situation, we felt it was necessary to come and extend our solidarity to you and assure you of our full support in all your programmes in the future. We will not be able to reach all the 4 million people in the state but we will support you in a meaningful way so that you can touch people’s lives in a positive way.”
The governor thanked ECOWAS for the financial and humanitarian support given to the state.