The UK Government was deeply concerned about the abduction of Nigerian schoolboys from their school in Kankara, Katsina State on 11 December. Abductions of Nigerian schoolchildren are abhorrent and must stop. We welcome the news that they were released on 17 December. Following the attack, I publicly stressed that schoolchildren need to be protected and that all children should be able to access education without fear.
The UK provides a comprehensive package of stabilisation, development and humanitarian assistance to support communities in Northern Nigeria. Through the Education in Emergencies programme, we help fund the education of children affected by conflict. This includes supporting schools and communities to create conflict risk reduction plans to help protect children in schools. Since 2018, we have supported over 200,000 children in the North East to receive an education. We continue to advocate for the protection of children and schools across Nigeria. For example, we encourage the Nigerian Government to follow the Safe Schools Declaration, which sets out international guidelines to protect students, teachers and their schools during armed conflict.