Over 7 million Nigerians risk hunger, others in Northeast – UN

July 7, 2019
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The United Nations (UN), says about 7.1 million Nigerians displaced in the Northeastern part of the country due to upsurge in violence and military counter-operations needed urgent humanitarian assistance.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Maiduguri by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), there is the need forlifesaving assistance, including food, nutrition and healthcare interventions, while about three million others, including one million children, were vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.

According to the UN agency, more than 134,000 persons had been displaced since January due to upsurge in violence and military counter-operations in the sub region.

The UN said a team of senior officials had conducted a five-day assessment tour of Borno state and visited Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in Damboa, Dikwa, Maiduguri and Rann.

It said the team observed that the humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe needed renewed support to face the recent upsurge in violence and growing humanitarian needs.

The UN quoted Mr Vincent Houver of the International Organization for Migration (IMO) as saying that “the crisis in the Lake Chad Region is far from over. The humanitarian community cannot spare any effort at this time.

“This week, we met women, children and men who were forced to flee multiple times and urgently need protection and assistance to survive and rebuild their lives. We cannot let them down.”

Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, disclosed that aid agencies had scaled up humanitarian response to address the situation.

“Aid agencies have significantly scaled up and reached some two million people with aid this year.

“However; much more supports are urgently needed. We are worried about the tens of thousands of people who have recently fled due to rising violence and are still sleeping outside in the open.

“With the rainy season progressing, they will face increased risk of diseases and will need immediate protection,” Kallon said.

The UN also quoted Mr Christian Gad of the Danish Refugee Council as adding that “some of the people we met have been living in IDP camps for several years.

“All actors, including government and the private sector in Nigeria, need to join forces to help those affected by the crisis to recover in dignity and restart their lives.”

It explained that the UN and its partners have appealed for 848 million dollars to enable it to provide urgent life-saving assistance to 6.2 million people in 2019, adding that the response plan was so far 32.6 per cent funded.

It stressed that more funding was urgently needed to sustain the humanitarian response.

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