Nigeria Boko Haram areas 'to get $2bn in World Bank aid'

Aid distribution at camp for displaced people in Nigeria Image copyright EPA
Image caption The insurgency has displaced more than a million people, many of whom rely heavily on aid

The World Bank has pledged $2.1bn (£1.4bn; €1.9bn) to help rebuild north-eastern parts of Nigeria, wracked by years of Boko Haram militancy, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says.

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.

More than a million people have also been displaced by the insurgency.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama pledged his support for Mr Buhari in the campaign against Boko Haram. The US has committed $5 million (£3.2m; €4.6m) 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 fuelled 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

Image copyright AFP
  • 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

Why Boko Haram remains a threat

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