With Agency Report
Despite the violence directed outward, Boko Haram has continued functioning as a kind of state within its region. As Mercy Corps, (an international development organization that helps people around the world survive and thrive after conflict, crisis and natural disaster) has documented, people in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin have turned to Boko Haram for help.
Mercy Corps documented a number of instances in which aspiring and fledgling entrepreneurs accepted loans and capital from Boko Haram. According to the report, Boko Haram has recruited by exploiting “common desires of youth in this region, to get ahead economically and distinguish themselves in their communities.”
It did not state where Boko Haram get the money they advanced as loans but many other sources indicated that the various raids on banks and other businesses provided them with financial resources for this.
In addition to this economic services it has also been found that Boko Haram fills other gaps in the needs of the young people in their region such as marriages and social life.
The North East region’s economic difficulties altered the communities’ ‘marriage markets,’ making it financially difficult for young men to marry. Anthropological research in the 1960s noted that men in the region’s Kanuri communities lower their social status by not being married due to their need to eat at the houses of neighbors, friends, relatives, or superiors who have wives.”
Boko Haram fills that need as well, supplying wives to loyal Boko Haram soldiers. One displaced woman in Maiduguri told Mercy Corps that Boko Haram appeals to some young men because they can take a wife at no cost.