Officials in Nigeria say half of government food aid sent to people displaced by an Islamist insurgency never reached them. Nearly three-million people have been displaced during the eight-year uprising by Boko Haram militants.
The spokesman for Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said a new system, launched earlier this month, had drastically reduced the diversion of aid – a polite word for theft.
Now, hundreds of police and soldiers escort the vehicles delivering the food, right to the point where it is given to the hungry.
More than 1,000 trucks filled with grain are on their way to the north-east. One-and-a-half million people are said to be on the brink of famine. And Boko Haram fighters continue to attack, despite a more robust offensive by the military
Up to half the food aid meant for people who have fled Nigeria’s Islamist insurgency was been diverted, the government says.
It described it as a “diversion of relief materials”, which correspondents say is a euphemism for theft.
A statement from the acting president’s office added that security was being beefed up to protect the deliveries.
As a result of an Islamist militant insurgency some 8.5 million Nigerians in the north-east need life-saving aid.
Last week, Nigeria apologised to Saudi Arabia after 200 tonnes of dates the kingdom sent as a Ramadan gift were found on sale in local markets.