YAOUNDE, Cameroon, April 20 (UPI) -- The United States has pledged an additional $40 million in humanitarian aid for those affected by Boko Haram violence in Africa's Lake Chad region, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Tuesday.
Samantha Power made the announcement in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, after meeting with President Paul Biya, Prime Minister Philemon Yang and Defense Minister Joseph Beti Assomo. The new pledge brings the total amount to $237 million over two years.
"I underscored to these leaders that the United States is committed to partnering with Cameroon to defeat Boko Haram," Power told the media after the meeting. "Defeating Boko Haram and neutralizing its impact so that civilians feel safe requires work on multiple fronts, and we are working on multiple fronts here in Cameroon and also in the broader Lake Chad Basin region. We are training and equipping regional militaries and we are sharing intelligence with those forces to strengthen the region's capacity to mount a coordinated fight against Boko Haram. The United States will stand with Cameroon until Boko Haram is vanquished."
She noted 7 million people have been affected by Boko Haram's terror.
The funds, she said, will be used to support aid organizations that are providing essential protection and assistance to those affected.
She added the United States doesn't want to alienate the local population.
"In a climate where terror has taken hold, suspicion also tends to take root. When one is afraid and when one is suspicious, sometimes one makes mistakes. And we heard stories from very brave members of civil society from the north who said that at times people are being accused of being Boko Haram, who are simply innocent civilians going about their day."
On Monday, Power's convoy was involved in a traffic accident in which a young boy was killed. She said all members of the U.S. delegation are "heartbroken by this tragedy."