The World Food Programme last week said nearly two million people were living on the brink of famine in the remote region, which has been devastated by Boko Haram violence since 2009. Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency has killed at least 20,000 people in northeast Nigeria and forced millions of others from their homes. Lack of security, plus restrictions on travel and trade, have hit agriculture hard, led to food shortages and driven up prices. The UN says Nigeria needs $1.05 billion this year to fund vital humanitarian projects including food, clean water and sanitation.
Nigeria’s northeast is facing a tightening hunger gap, say aid organisations, pointing to two years of missed crop harvests in what was once a breadbasket for the country, and the high likelihood of missing a third. [...] The UN says it needs $1.5 billion (€1.4 billion) in humanitarian aid this year for the Lake Chad region – which spreads across parts of Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad – and $457 million had been pledged for 2017 by late February.
It's all part of a military exercise that simulates going after a high-value target [...] the assault force demonstrates crucial military steps before capturing and eliminating him. Three weeks of U.S.-led counterterrorism exercises, known as Flintlock 2017, ended last month in Chad, which, along with surrounding countries, has been targeted in deadly violence by Boko Haram. The Flintlock exercises take place each year in a different African country.
Undoubtedly, the #BringBackOurGirls vibe and heat must have at best fuelled the use of social media, particularly Twitter, to push for social change and global action. The #FeesMustFall (South Africa) and #Justice4Liz (Kenya) trends among others have followed the lead of #BringBackOurGirls.
There are thousands of Nigerian farmers who suffered similar fates — displaced by the Boko Haram terrorist organization — who are cultivating again. [...] USAID partners, including state and local government agencies, helped ensure distribution occurred ahead of this year’s planting season.
Digital diplomacy involves more than simply social media, argues Shaun Riordan.
Abubakar had been feeling frustrated that her home region is best known for its ties to Boko Haram. So in 2015, she decided to do something about it. She started taking pictures of the daily life that she says local and international media neglect as they focus on bomb blasts, suicide attacks, death and destruction — and the fallout from Boko Haram's violence.