DAKAR – The United Nations launched an appeal on Thursday to raise slightly over $174 million to support refugees who have fled to Chad, Niger and Cameroon to escape northern Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.
Though a military campaign by Nigeria and its neighbours has driven Boko Haram out of many positions it previously held, the U.N. still expects refugee numbers to rise from 192,000 to 240,000 by the end of this year.
The refugees, some of whom walked or even swam long distances to escape the violence, are spread out across the countries bordering Lake Chad in a mostly arid zone that encompasses some of the poorest regions of the world.
“But this means they are spread out and logistically it is much more difficult to reach them,” he said.
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The 23 UN agencies and NGOs involved in the support plan each drew up their cost estimates, which came to a combined $174.4 million.