The United States on Wednesday announced additional $533 million assistance to Nigeria and countries in the Lake Chad Basin facing famine, food insecurity and numerous conflicts in Africa.
Other countries listed as beneficiaries of the humanitarian assistance include Ethiopia, Somalia and war-ravaged South Sudan.
This was revealed in a statement by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his first working visit to Africa.
“Today I’m announcing $533 million in additional humanitarian assistance to fight famine and food insecurity and address other needs resulting from conflicts in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Lake Chad Basin,” Tillerson said.
“The alarming levels of hunger in these areas are largely man-made, as conflicts erupt and people flee their homes.
“Under these conditions, people cannot produce crops and often lose access altogether to food, education, and health care. Many lose everything.
“And regrettably, Mother Nature can still be cruel, such as in the Horn of Africa, where a prolonged drought is contributing to grave food insecurity”.
Tillerosn, who recently condemned the abduction of 110 schoolgirls from Dapchi, Yobe State, added that the funds will provide safe drinking water, thousands of tons of food, and deliver health programs to prevent the spread of deadly diseases like cholera to millions of people to save lives.
“The American people, as we always have been, are there to partner with African countries to ensure their most vulnerable populations receive life-saving assistance.
“We also call upon others to join us in meeting the growing humanitarian needs in Africa. We hope these initial contributions will encourage others to contribute aid to increase burden sharing and meet the growing humanitarian needs in Africa.
“However, this assistance will not solve these ongoing conflicts, but only buy us time – time to pursue diplomatic solutions.”