Boko Haram Caused $9 Billion Damage in Nigeria's North, UN Says

  • Islamist group destroyed homes, schools, roads in past decade
  • Global body stepping up aid support to violence-affected areas

Islamist militant group Boko Haram has caused $9 billion of damage in Nigeria’s northeast since 2009, destroying homes, schools, bridges and roads, according to the United Nations.

Borno state alone suffered losses worth $6.2 billion, Matthew Rycroft, the president of the UN Security Council, told reporters Sunday on a visit to its main city of Maiduguri. The global body is stepping up support to the region as many who fled Boko Haram violence are now facing a humanitarian crisis even as attacks on their communities abate, he said.

“The number of displaced is shocking, the number of children suffering from malnutrition is alarming,” Rycroft said. “It is like suffering twice.”

Boko Haram has waged an eight-year campaign, capturing towns and razing villages in a bid to impose its version of Islamic law on Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people. Nigeria is almost evenly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.

The U.K. will contribute more money to help tackle a crisis that’s struggled to attract donor funds, said Rycroft, who’s also the British permanent secretary to the UN. He didn’t specify how much. Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama told reporters Sunday that Nigeria had spent $4 billion on the region, without giving further details.

Norway last month pledged $189.7 million over three years to Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad basin that’s been affected by the violence.

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