Seems like Nigeria needs to start taking care of itself because the international community is no longer willing to carry its burdens. Britain is getting set to halve the amount of money that it dishes out as in lieu of Britain’s aid to Nigeria over the next few years.
The revelation was made by the international development minister, Priti Patel. Britain has spent about £100m in the past 12 months but is now committing to aid worth about £200m ($258m) over the next fours years. That amounts to an over 50% drop from the usual aid extended by Britain.
Britain’s aid is aimed at the victims of attacks by Boko Haram Islamist militants in northeastern Nigeria and that region still needs serious help. Just recently, UNICEF published an article about the massive humanitarian crisis in Africa. Northern Nigeria was among the regions that they named who were suffering from this crisis. According to them;
“Conflict, drought, displacement and disease are driving massive humanitarian crises, leaving 20 million people at risk of famine across Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria – including nearly 1.4 million severely malnourished children at imminent risk of death.”
Other aid agencies have pointed out that there are over 1.5 million people on the brink of famine in north-east Nigeria. The UK Department for International Development says that 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.
All this may make it seem like a terrible time for Britain’s aid to Nigeria to be halved but International Development Minister Priti Patel said the Nigerian authorities needed to do more to defeat the extremists and to “secure the safety and well being of its own people”.
Patel also called on other donors to increase their assistance to Nigeria. She was asked if she was comfortable with a substantial cut in Britain’s humanitarian aid to which she replied that she did not see it as a cut because she had just announced more money for Nigeria.
In reasoning that out, she pointed out that; “My job isn’t just to give aid and money… but also to get others to contribute as well.” She said that Nigeria needs other development partners and countries to pitch in and share the aid burden;
“This is an international crisis… the international development community must come together. That’s other donor countries.”
At a time where Nigeria is still unsure of where it stands with the government of President Donald Trump, this loss of yet another stable aid partner may hit hard but it may indeed be time for the country to figure its own way.