Boko Haram Displaced Suffer After Nigeria Closes Aid Groups

October 29, 2019
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Falmata Ibrahim is at a loss on how to feed her family as she sits by the makeshift shelter they have called home since fleeing Boko Haram five years ago.

Like hundreds of thousands of others displaced by the decade-long insurgency, she has relied on monthly support worth around $50 dollars from international aid groups to get by.

But that lifeline was cut when the Nigerian army shuttered the offices of humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger (ACF) in the region some six weeks ago.

“I don’t know how I will survive with my children,”
she told AFP at the camp where she lives in the city of Maiduguri.

Without warning in September the military moved in and closed down the offices of ACF and a second NGO Mercy Corps in northeast Nigeria.

Soldiers surrounded their compounds in trucks and demanded staff leave the premises.

After shutting its offices, the military accused Paris-based ACF of “aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities” by supplying food and drugs to the jihadist fighters.

The NGO denied the charges and, along with Mercy Corps, called for the army to reverse the closure.

The United Nations says stopping the work of the aid groups has left nearly 400,000 people “without food and other essential help for the last month”.

During a visit to Nigeria, the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said on Friday he had received assurances the suspension would be lifted in the “next few days”.

But when exactly this might happen remains unclear.

A spokesman for the Nigerian army refused to comment on the UN statement. Representatives for the humanitarian organisations told AFP that they had no more information.

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