FG to Feed 1.8 Million People in Militant-Hit Northeast

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MAIDUGURI, JUNE 8, 2017 – Nigeria said it will feed 1.8 million people in the country’s northeast where a militant insurgency has wrecked the local economy and pushed the population to the brink of famine.

The federal government will distribute 40,000 metric tons of food including rice, maize, sorghum and soya beans to displaced persons, the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who is acting leader while President Muhammadu Buhari is on sick leave in the U.K., said in a statement on Wednesday. Officials want to give each family about 50 kilograms of grains every month and estimate that the operation will cost about 8 billion naira ($25 million).

“The new plan is expected to correct many of the lapses observed in delivering relief” to the displaced people, Osinbajo’s office said in the statement.

Militants belonging to Boko Haram have waged an eight-year war in a bid to impose its version of Islamic law in Africa’s most populous country of more than 180 million people, leaving tens of thousands dead and forcing millions to flee their homes. Aid agencies estimate as many as 1.4 million people are facing an emergency and 44,000 are close to starvation.

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