By Dipo Olowookere
A Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) would be dispatched to Nigeria by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Announcing this on Thursday, November 10, 2016, the USAID explained that the team would support government’s efforts to reduce food insecurity in the Boko Haram-affected regions of the country’s northeast.
“The U.S. Government is deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria and the surrounding region. Approximately 9.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance,” said Administrator Smith. “With the announcement of the DART, we are acting swiftly to accelerate and expand our humanitarian response in partnership with the Nigerian government, UN agencies and NGOs. We ask that other donors join the United States and do more, and do it quickly.”
Since 2015, the U.S. government has been the largest donor for the humanitarian response in the region, providing more than $366 million for life-saving assistance.
USAID’s response includes emergency food assistance, nutrition activities, safe drinking water, improved access to hygiene and sanitation, health services, and emergency shelter materials.
USAID is promoting an increasingly proactive monitoring approach to quickly report on the alarming conditions in newly accessible parts of north-eastern Nigeria.
As part of this effort, the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Network (FEWS NET) released the results of a nutrition survey on October 21 that indicated that 20 to 50 percent of children screened over the past six months were acutely malnourished.
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