On the second anniversary of the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria, Foreign Office Minister for Africa, James Duddridge, and International Development Minister, Nick Hurd, issued the following joint statement:
Our thoughts are with the Chibok schoolgirls, their families and the thousands of other men, women and children who have been brutally abducted by Boko Haram. The abduction of the girls was a particularly horrific example of Boko Haram’s barbaric crimes.
We remain determined and steadfast in our support of Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram. Since 2014, we have significantly increased our military, intelligence and development support to Nigeria. This includes training and advice for Nigerian armed forces deploying against Boko Haram. The UK has also increased its humanitarian support to reach those people most in need with food, water and emergency healthcare. Part of this assistance focuses on ensuring children have a right to education and safe access to schools.
Tackling the root causes of global problems such as violent extremism, terrorism and poverty is not only the right thing to do, it is also firmly in the UK’s own national interest.
The abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in April 2014 was a particularly heinous example of Boko Haram’s brutality. We estimate that over 2,000 people were abducted by the group in 2014, and that hundreds more have been taken since.
In response to the abduction of the Chibok girls in 2014 the UK, working with the US and France, provided a range of military and intelligence support to the Nigerian government in their search for the missing girls and their efforts to address the longer term challenge of terrorism. Since 2014, we have significantly increased our military, intelligence and development support to Nigeria, including training and advice on counter-insurgency.
Last year almost 1,000 Nigerian military personnel benefited from UK training to prepare them for counter-insurgency operations in the North East. The UK has also provided £5 million to support the regional military taskforce set up by Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle the insurgents.
The UK is contributing millions of pounds in humanitarian support to help those most affected by Boko Haram’s insurgency. This vital aid is providing food, water, sanitation and emergency healthcare for up to 7 million people across Nigeria.
DFID also supports the Government of Nigeria’s Safe Schools Initiative which has helped over 90,000 displaced children to return to school, provided learning materials, and trained teachers on psychosocial support.