Britain will give Nigeria aid worth £200 million over five years to help it cope with its eight-year insurgency being waged by Boko Haram militants, the foreign ministry in London said Wednesday.
“In Maiduguri I met casualties of Boko Haram violence, including bomb and gunshot victims, and saw for myself the displacement of people that brutality and poverty have created,” Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson visited Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria’s northeast Borno State and epicenter of the Boko Haram organization, to meet some of those involved in the fight.
The £200 million ($260 million, 220 million euros) will help supply food to 1.5 million people facing famine as a result of the bloody insurgency, while providing treatment for 120,000 children at risk of malnutrition and assisting 100,000 children with education needs.
British military teams will also continue to help prepare Abuja’s security forces for counter-insurgency operations, having already helped to train 28,500 Nigerian personnel.
The extremist group has increasingly used child suicide bombers and targeted civilians in its insurgency which has left at least 20,000 dead and displaced more than 2.6 million.
The British pledge of £200 million came after the Pentagon said it has notified the US Congress of the sale to Nigeria of 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million, which the West African country wants for its fight against Boko Haram.
The Federal Register on Monday published the Aug. 2 notification from the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation
Agency. The Super Tucano A-29, an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer.