Aids to Nigeria from US suspended, pending Kerry’s visit

Aids

The United States has suspended further review of its humanitarian assistance to Nigeria pending the visit of Secretary of States, John Kerry.

It, however, announced additional increase of about $35 million to help Ethiopia.

Kerry is to pay an official visit to Nigeria, the first of such visit since inauguration of the Muhammed Buhari administration, which the country hopes may bring a breather to the economy in recession.

It was learnt that the initial move by United Nations and international NGOs influenced US aid mostly directed at providing humanitarian aids to more than 2.5 million internally displaced persons in the North East due to activities of Boko Haram.

But allegation of human rights abuse by Nigerian military since the prosecution of war against the insurgents in parts of the country, is said to form the bulk of discussions during Kerry’s visit.

Also, the alleged diversion of funds and food materials meant for the IDPs is said to have formed one of the reasons the donor agency wants issues sorted out before more aids could come to Nigeria.

However, USAID at the weekend listed names of African countries that are to have increase of its aids, led by Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia.

But in Nigeria’s case, it said the US agency will soon come up with an official position.

But a source said the fate of Nigeria as regards international aids and other economic related issues will be sorted during Buhari’s planned meeting with Kerry tomorrow, Tuesday.

USAID’s Mission Director in Ethiopia Leslie Reed announced the new funding in Addis Ababa during an event commemorating World Humanitarian Day, adding that US will continue to mobilise and coordinate global response to any country that is faced by any humanitarian challenges

The aid increase to Ethiopia was triggered by the impact of its worst drought in 50 years, named El Niño, which followed successive poor rainy seasons and has exceeded many people’s ability to cope.

More than 6,000 metric tons of supplementary and therapeutic foods are to be sent to help an estimated 1 million people suffering from moderate and severe acute malnutrition.

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