The United Nations, Thursday, launched an appeal for $174 million (N35 billion) for almost 200,000 Nigerians who have fled the country due to brutal attacks by Boko Haram jihadists.
“Displaced people in north-eastern Nigeria and across borders are in a very dramatic situation,” Liz Ahua, west Africa representative for the UNHCR, the organisation’s refugee agency, said.
“They continue to fear for their lives, and are at this point unable to return to their homes.”
According to UNHCR, some 192,000 people have fled Nigeria to Cameroon, Chad and Niger seeking refuge from relentless violence in the Nigeria’s north east, hence the institution of a fund regarded as “life-saving aid”.
Robert Piper, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel region, said more than 7,300 civilians had been killed since the start of 2014 in the three states of the northeast, including 1,000 already this year.
“Gross violations of human rights, including sexual violence and child trafficking, are frequently reported. Education and health infrastructure has been decimated.
“The majority of victims have found makeshift shelters in schools, with their neighbours and relatives…. They have lost everything — their homes, their livelihoods, their families,” he said.