Britain’s Priti Patel urges others to help Nigeria

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UK International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced £200m aid to Nigeria over the next four years

Britain is to reduce the amount of money it is giving as humanitarian aid to Nigeria over the next few years.

The aid worth £200m ($258m) over the next four years is a 50% drop from the £100m it gave in 2017.

The money is aimed at helping north-eastern Nigeria recover from an eight-year insurgency by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

More than 1.5 million people are on the brink of famine in the area, aid agencies say.

The amount of aid given to Nigeria was increased this year to enable the country cope with the aftermath of the insurgency that prevented people from farming their land.

International Development Minister Priti Patel, however, said the Nigerian authorities needed to do more to defeat the extremists and to “secure the safety and well being of its own people”.

She also said other donors should increase their assistance.

On being asked if she was comfortable with a substantial cut in Britain’s humanitarian aid, Ms Patel replied that she did not see it as a cut because she had just announced more money for Nigeria.

Ms Patel said the additional aid money was based on current humanitarian need. And that the situation would be “assessed constantly”.

“My job isn’t just to give aid and money… but also to get others to contribute as well.”

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Millions have been displaced due to Boko Haram attacks

She said that other countries and development partners needed to share the aid burden.

North-east Nigeria has been devastated by Boko Haram since 2009, with more than 20,000 people killed and 8.5 million people in need of urgent support, according to the UK Department for International Development.

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