FG Adopts Three-year Humanitarian Plan for Lake Chad Basin

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Udoma Udo Udoma

UN, UNHCR seek $983m for IDPs

Kasim Sumaina, Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The federal government has adopted the 2019 humanitarian response plan with a three-year strategy to curb the suffering of casualties and victims at the Lake Chad basin.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who launched the strategic plan during the second regional protection dialogue for the Lake Chad basin and the launch for the humanitarian response strategy for north-east Nigeria and the Reginald refugee response plan, said the first year multi- year approach strategy will ensure that the north-east is well catered for, and for those affected by activities of the Boko Haram insurgents.

To this end, the United Nations (UN) and its counterpart, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, (UNHCR) have disclosed that to achieve this feat, the sum of $983 million would be required for the continuity in the provision of food, water, shelter and protection.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, in his speech, stated that humanitarian organisations in Nigeria are targeting 6.2 million people who have been hit the hardest by the crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

He added that 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 realistic capacity to deliver aid.

He said: “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.

“Humanitarian organisations in Nigeria are targeting 6.2 million people hardest-hit by the crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in the country’s north-east.

“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 realistic capacity to deliver aid” he added.

Similarly, the, regional representative of UNHCR, West Africa/Regional refugee Coordinator, Nigerian situation, Liz Kpam Ahua, disclosed that there are two responses for the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.

She noted that the dialogue seeks to remind the government in the Lake Chad Basin of the principles of humanitarian action.

Lamenting about the situation in Lake Chad Basin, Ahua stated that two-and-half years after the 1st Regional Protection Dialogue, it is disheartening to report that the Lake Chad Basin continues to face a protection crisis here in Nigeria and across the neighboring countries.

Speaking further, she said: “While we have acknowledged the deliberate and concerted efforts of the four countries of the area to bring the Boko Haram crisis to an end and, while recognising the successes achieved by military operations that have led to the recovery of local government areas in north-eastern Nigeria that had been hitherto occupied by Boko Haram, we are dismayed to witness new displacement of people in Borno State and the plight of thousands more into Cameroon and Chad”.