Cameroonian villagers along the Nigerian border need humanitarian aid after deadly Boko Haram attacks displaced at least 7,000 people, authorities and rights groups say. Villagers have been fleeing their homes since early August because of attacks, which killed at least 22 people and wounded 29.
Several humanitarian groups, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), handed out goats and bags of rice, among other goods, to more than a hundred people gathered Monday in the town of Mora
Cameroon authorities say a suicide bomber hit the village of Goldavi last week, killing seven people and wounding 14 others. For the past seven years, the village hosted 18,000 displaced people who sought refuge from Boko Haram, according to the United Nations.
Sixty-four-year-old Cameroonian Maahamat Doudje was among those who fled Goldavi.
He said after receiving three goats and a bag of rice, he is sure of having at least one meal a day for the next few weeks.
FAO representative Fulbert Haiba Daliwa said the group is working to help those whose livelihoods have been disturbed by the militants. Many people, he said, have lost everything to Boko Haram.
Forty-eight-year-old Alida Wakilou, a spokeswoman for female displaced in Goldavi, said the women and children have been living in hunger since last week’s attack. They need safe places to go, where they can grow maize, millet and onions to feed their families, she added.
In August, authorities blamed Boko Haram for an attack that killed 17 people and wounded six others in a camp for displaced in the border village of Nguetchewe.
Spokesman for Cameroon’s military Cyrille Atonfack said troops have been sent to assist civilians in areas still prone to Boko Haram attacks.
Atonfack said Boko Haram has destroyed hospitals and chased away health workers on Cameroon’s border with Nigeria, so the military offers food aid and medical and psychological care to victims.
The U.N. said Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad Basin have killed more than 30,000 people and displaced over three million in the past decade.