Jos Crisis: Red Cross to Address ‘Most Urgent Needs’ of 22,000 Displaced Persons

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Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The Red Cross has concluded plan to respond to the humanitarian needs of over 22,000 persons displaced in the recent Jos crisis.

The arrangement to immediately move materials for the needs of the over 22,000 persons who were displaced in the armed violence in parts of Jos, Plateau State was reached by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS).

Under the arrangement, according to a statement on Tuesday by the spokesman of ICRC, Aleksandra Mosimann, the humanitarian organisation will respond to “the most urgent needs of more than 22,000 people displaced by the recent armed violence in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South Local Government Areas, Plateau state.”

Mosimann lamented that: “Tens of thousands of people fled their homes after the most recent spat in armed violence in June 2018. Hundreds have been killed and injured, while some areas were left in ruins. Most of the displaced women, children and elderly are staying in congested impromptu camps where they arrived with whatever they could carry—and often with nothing. Some are being hosted by local families, who are also struggling to make do with scarce resources.”

She quoted Lene Groenkjaer, the ICRC delegate in charge of the ICRC programs in Plateau state, as promising that: “Over the coming days, we will be delivering food, sleeping materials, clothes as well as kitchen and hygiene items to displaced families and vulnerable people from the local communities. Among them, we prioritised women, people with disabilities, and households that are headed by children.”

Groenkjaer added that: “All assistance provided by the Red Cross is distributed directly to the affected persons regardless of their religion, tribe or political affiliations and is given free of charge.”

She revealed that each household had registered for assistance through a rigorous assessment process. “After a discussion with the communities, it was decided that the ICRC will provide rice, beans, condiments and one month’s supply of a nutrition supplement. They will also receive blankets, mosquito nets, mats, tarpaulin, kitchen sets and clothing in an effort to improve their current living conditions. “

She added that: “At the same time, the ICRC is working to improve the sanitation and hygiene items by distributing soap and setting up hand-washing stations and latrines.”

She recalled that: “The ICRC has been responding to humanitarian challenges in Nigeria for the past 30 years. Working closely with the NRCS, today it provides assistance and strengthens resilience of the persons affected by armed conflict or violence in the north-east, north-central and southern parts of the country.”