By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service, who was born in Nigeria
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS – July 21, 2015) – The World Bank has pledged $2.1bn to help rebuild north-eastern parts of Nigeria, wracked by years of Boko Haram militancy, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says.
According to the BBC, Mr. Buhari was speaking in Washington after talks with World Bank officials.
He said priority must be given to rebuilding infrastructure and helping those displaced by the conflict.
Mr. Buhari has pledged to defeat Boko Haram insurgents who have killed thousands in Nigeria since 2009, including many Christians.
“More than a million people have also been displaced by the insurgency,” said the BBC.
On Monday, US President Barack Obama pledged his support for Mr. Buhari in the campaign against Boko Haram. The US has committed $5 million to the fight against the insurgents since the Nigerian leader was elected earlier this year.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Mr. Buhari urged the World Bank to send a team to Nigeria to assess how to spend the funds.
The money is expected be given in the form of a loan which will be interest-free for the first 10 years.
BBC Africa editor Richard Hamilton says extreme poverty and neglect in north-eastern Nigeria is thought to have fueled the rise of Islamic extremism and given Boko Haram broader appeal.
Mr. Buhari also met representatives of the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to discuss measures to tackle malaria and polio.
Boko Haram at a glance (From the BBC)
* Founded in 2002, initially focused on opposing Western-style education – Boko Haram means “Western education is forbidden” in the Hausa language
* Launched military operations in 2009
* Joined Islamic State, now calls itself “West African province”
* Thousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria, abducted hundreds, including at least 200 schoolgirls
* Seized large area in north-east, where it declared caliphate
* Regional force has retaken most territory this year
Photo captions: 1) Boko Haram in action. 2) President Buhari. 3) Dan Wooding recording a radio show (OC Register).
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for nearly 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the author of some 45 books.
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