The UN Officer for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Mr Stephen O’Brien, has allocated 31 million dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support humanitarian partners in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Jens Laerke, from OCHA, in New York on Tuesday.

The allocation is to assist Nigeria in the humanitarian situation, which is worsening due to violence perpetrated by Boko Haram.

The CERF funding, he said, would provide life-saving assistance to almost 1.7 million affected people in the four countries.

Some 10 million dollars, it added, would bolster relief efforts in Nigeria.

It said that women and girls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been subjected to physical and psychological abuse, forced labour, forced marriage and sexual slavery.

Boys, OCHA said, have been forcibly enrolled as combatants.

It added that the CERF funding for Nigeria would also be critical for providing emergency shelter, health care, safe drinking water and sanitation and nutrition for affected people currently living in overcrowded camps, in the North East of the country.

It stated that humanitarian partners in Cameroon, Chad and Niger would receive seven million dollars each.

OCHA estimated 2.7 million people, of whom 1.5 million children, had been displaced in the region, making it the fastest growing displacement crisis in Africa.

It added that people affected by the ongoing crisis were in urgent need of food, drinking water, shelter, health care, protection and education.

The UN’s global humanitarian fund provides immediate funding for life-saving humanitarian action at the onset of emergencies and for neglected crises that have not attracted sufficient funding.

Since its inception in 2006, 125 UN Member States and Observers, private-sector donors and regional governments have supported the Fund.

To date, CERF has allocated almost 4.2 billion dollars in support of humanitarian operations in 94 countries and territories. (NAN)

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