Nigeria: Borno calls for help to rebuild Boko Haram destruction

A northeast Nigerian state, the worst hit in the country by the Boko Haram insurgency, needs greater international assistance for rebuilding as it faces funding issues and a food crisis, its governor said on Tuesday.

Borno state governor Kashim Shettima said "we need the whole world to rally round us" to help peace-building, rehabilitation and reconstruction after nearly seven years of violence.

A report for the World Bank has said some 20 000 people from Borno have been killed in the Islamist insurgency and put the cost of the destruction in the state at $5.9 billion.

The World Bank has set aside $800m to support rebuilding, as well as other programmes such as de-mining and waste management, Shettima told a conference on reconstruction in Abuja.

"But... $800m is a drop in the ocean in a state that has lost almost $6 billion as a result of the insurgency," he added.

"We need far more support from our international partners to be able to complete the rebuilding of our communities."

"Monumental infrastructure and economic losses" have hit homes, schools, government buildings, water sources, power and telecommunications networks, he added.

But Shettima said those who have fled the violence were still affected, even as Nigeria's military regains control of captured territory and reduces the rebels' ability to mount attacks.

Food crisis

Around 2.0 million of the estimated 2.6 million displaced have remained in Nigeria. Most are in living in host communities, with about ten percent in specially designated camps.

Many of the camps are located in and around the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, with others across the state to cater for those who have returned to their home towns.

The governor said there was a "crisis of feeding" and that 1 800 50 kg bags of rice were required every day for around 381 000 IDPs, not including other ingredients for a nutritious diet.

International aid organisations and the Nigerian government in Abuja were helping, as financial constraints have left the state authorities unable to act alone, he said.

Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer, has seen revenues reduced drastically by the decrease in global oil prices since mid-2014, affecting funding to state governments.
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