World Bank to spend up to $2.1 billion to rebuild Nigeria's northeast

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's presidency said on Tuesday that the World Bank had pledged to spend up to $2.1 billion to rebuild the northeast of the country that has been devastated by Boko Haram militants. The Islamist group has been waging a six year insurgency with the aim of carving out a caliphate in the north of Africa's biggest economy. The statement came after President Muhammadu Buhari met with representatives of the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization during his trip to Washington. A spokeswoman for the World Bank could not immediately comment. "Apart from rebuilding the region in terms of infrastructure, priority must also be given to the resettlement of internally displaced persons, who now number over one million," Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement sent by a spokesman. The loan would be spent through the World Bank's International Development Agency and would be interest-free for the first 10 years. The statement said the World Health Organization would spend $300 million on immunization against malaria, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would work with Nigeria's Dangote Foundation to maintain the record of zero polio cases for the past year. Buhari met U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday to discuss how to tackle the insurgency in his first visit to Washington since his election in March. (Reporting by Julia Payne; Editing by Alison Williams)