A security summit of regional and Western powers in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, has pledged a “global approach” comprising military and developmental efforts to end the threat posed by Boko Haram.
Recent military operations by Nigeria and regional forces have led to territorial gains and revealed the scale of devastation. They have also paved the way for reconstruction efforts. But it is a colossal task, says Mannir Dan Ali, Editor of Nigeria’s Daily Trust, writing for the BBC.
What schools, hospitals and municipal buildings there were in areas once under the group’s control have been destroyed. Bringing back life to a huge swathe of territory will require what some have called a Marshall Plan for the north-east, in reference to the big reconstruction plan for Europe after World War Two.
There have been local and international efforts aimed at helping those displaced. The most touching effort, says Ali, has been the donations from ordinary people in other parts of Nigeria, who have been contributing as little as a dollar or two. One group has raised sufficient funds to rebuild the girls’ school in Chibok town, where more than 200 girls were kidnapped two years ago.
As funding trickles in, the overall strategy seems to be to attack the problem from several directions. Officials hope it will result in creating an environment for the affected people to resume their lives, while tackling the terrible poverty that became a fertile ground for the ideology of Boko Haram to take root.