FG lifts suspension of aid groups in northeast
The Federal Government has temporarily lifted a suspension of the operations of Mercy Corps and Action Against Hunger, in the northeast part of Nigeria. The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar Farouq made this known at a news conference in Maiduguri.
In September, the army forced both aid groups to close some of their offices, accusing Action Against Hunger of aiding terrorist groups and alleging that a large amount of money in a car found in northeastern Borno state belonged to Mercy Corps.
Action Against Hunger rejected the accusation of “aiding and abetting” a terrorist organization and Mercy Corps expressed concern at the consequences of suspending its operations in northeast Nigeria, saying it left hundreds of thousands of people at risk.
Farouq said that the concerns raised by the army would “continue to receive attention and scrutiny,” and that the government would take new steps to vet and monitor all humanitarian groups working in the region.
A decade-long insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram has terrorized the northeast, killing some 30,000 and forcing two million to flee their homes. In 2016, Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) split from Boko Haram and has launched its own attacks in the region.
The United Nations has described it as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, estimating that 7.1 million people need assistance.