6.2m Targeted for Aids in North-east Crisis in 2019, Says UN

0

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The United Nations has revealed that 6.2 million people are targeted in the crisis ridden North-east with aids by humanitarian organisations in 2019.

It also said as a fallout of the crisis, $983 million is needed during the year to provide basic necessities to the victims of the crisis in the Northeast and Lake Chad region.

A statement signed yesterday by the Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Communications, Samantha Newport, lamented that the crisis in the Northeast continued to make many people homeless.

According to the statement, “Millions of civilians continue to grapple with extreme adversity across North-east Nigeria and the rest of the Lake Chad region where a recent surge in violence displaced tens of thousands people, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.

“Top UN officials are calling for support to respond to a humanitarian crisis that is now in its tenth year. The UN and partners, in support of the governments of Nigeria and of countries hosting Nigerian refugees, simultaneously launched the 2019 to 2021 Humanitarian Response Strategy and the Regional Refugee Response Plan, respectively seeking $848 million and $135 million to continue to provide food, water, shelter and protection to the most vulnerable people in Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

“The Humanitarian Response Strategy also articulates a collective vision for the next three years of humanitarian action and marks the first time in Nigeria that humanitarian actors are adopting a multi-year approach.”

The statement quoted UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, to have said: “We must sustain the efforts made over the recent years to ensure that aids reach those who need them most. The decade-long conflict has brought immense suffering upon children, women, men, their families and communities. We have saved millions of lives, and as we strive to provide immediate response to new and existing humanitarian needs, we must also focus on addressing the causes of such untold suffering.”

The statement further said: “Humanitarian organisations in Nigeria are targeting 6.2 million people who are hardest-hit by the crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States in the North-east region. Although aid groups targeted almost the same number of people in 2018, this year’s budget is around $250 million less than the previous year, based on the assessed needs and the realistic capacity to deliver aid. Last year, donors provided 67 per cent of the funds, or $700 million, enabling humanitarians to provide aid to more than 5.5 million people.

“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, seeks funding for the 228,500 Nigerian refugees who have fled into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger, pointing to a disturbing trend of events.”

Also, the UNDP’s Regional Coordinator, Nana Oumou Touré-Sy while lamenting that “the continuing conflict in the Northeast further increases the vulnerability of refugees, IDPs, families and host communities already facing deep development challenges,” warned that “Together with humanitarian partners and governments, UNDP supports the comprehensive response to the refugee crisis by targeting weaknesses and vulnerabilities of refugees and host communities as a way to mitigate the risk of conflict between communities.