Pittella on Nigeria: International support is required to face the dramatic humanitarian situation

The S&D Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the ongoing and increasingly disturbing violence in Nigeria and in Kenya

Despite encouraging efforts of the newly-elected government of Nigeria, the humanitarian crisis in the North of the country is increasingly worrying. The attacks by Boko Haram continue against civilians as the army are launching actions to fight the terrorist group. More than 1.5 million people have been displaced and 4 million are facing acute level of hunger, while 200,000 people sought refuge in already fragile neighbouring countries over the past two years.

Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, said: 

"Radical extremism is a global threat, which requires a global solution. Boko Haram is not a Nigerian or an African problem, this is our problem too. While the government of Nigeria remains primarily responsible for fighting Boko Haram and for providing humanitarian assistance to those suffering in the country, they need much more international support in this.

"The S&D Group is going to organise an Africa Week in the European Parliament in December this year. I have proposed to EP President Martin Schulz to invite the newly-elected President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to address Parliament's plenary session during that Week."

S&D vice-president Enrique Guerrero Salom, EP rapporteur on humanitarian aid, said:

"The priority right now must be to provide the assistance to the population and plan the return of the displaced people. Of course, this is the main responsibility of the government but we must stand by the efforts demonstrated and commit to more support. We welcome the additional pledge of funding of €21 million of by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Christos Stylianides, following his recent visit to the region.

"We should not forget either that this crisis requires a regional solution involving all other countries concerned, in particular Cameroon, Chad and Niger."