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Friday, 06 October 2017

DfID defends £200m aid budget for Nigeria over next four years

The Department for International Development has defended its aid budget for Nigeria, which is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis caused by attacks led by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Boris Johnson, the foreign secretary, and Priti Patel, the development secretary, jointly announced £200m in aid over the next four years, during a visit to the country on Wednesday. The projected average annual funding of £50m in that time period falls short of the £100m pledged to Nigeria for 2017. But DfID played down the suggestion that the new pledge amounted to a halving of the annual budget, claiming the additional funding was part of a £300m five-year package. A DfID spokeswoman said: “The first year started with a higher amount and now we’ve allocated more money for years two to five. There is also the option to top-up if necessary. We don’t want to over-allocate in case it’s not needed because the idea is we are going to restore the area – so less aid is required.” Johnson and Patel visited north-east Nigeria on Wednesday to see some of the areas worst hit by the disruption and violence caused by Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group. As many as 1.9 million people have been internally displaced due to Boko Haram activity, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Food is the single greatest unmet need for the displaced people, the IOM has said.

Source: www.theguardian.com