UN Laments Paucity of Funds to Tackle North-east Crisis

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•Says response plan only 32% funded

• Laments food insecurity in the region

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

Of the $848 million required to urgently provide life-saving assistance to 6.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the North-east, the United Nations (UN) yesterday disclosed that its response plan was only 32.6 percent funded, thus

The global body, also, disclosed that food insecurity in the crisis-prone region have grown worse, which it claimed, had increased by 10 percent from what it was in October 2018.

The UN expressed the concern in a statement yesterday, disclosing that its partners had only been able to garner 32.6 percent of the needed fund for the crisis.

As indicated in its statement, the UN noted that it needed $848 million to tackle humanitarian crisis in the North-east, noting that it was urgent “to provide life-saving assistance to 6.2 million persons in the region.”

The statement said, “Six months into the year, and thanks to the generosity of donors, the response plan is 32.6 per cent funded. More funding is urgently needed to sustain the humanitarian response.”

Senior officials from the UN humanitarian agencies have paid a five-day visit to the Northeast to assess the humanitarian situation in the troubled region.

After the visit, the group had stressed that the humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States required renewed support to face the recent upsurge in violence and growing humanitarian needs.

The group, who paid visits to Damboa, Dikwa and Rann, had met with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Borno State Government, UN agencies, humanitarian NGOs and partners in Maiduguri.

While in Borno, they paid visit to several camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri and some towns most affected by the crisis in Borno State.

A representative of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), Mr. Vincent Houver said the crisis in the Lake Chad Region “is far from over. The humanitarian community cannot spare any effort at this time.

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

Also, the Head of Emergencies for the Danish Refugee Council, Mr. Christian Gad said, “Some of the people we met have been living in camps for internally displaced persons for several years.

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

“Now in its tenth year, the conflict continues to uproot the lives of tens of thousands of civilians. In recent months, renewed violence and military counter-operations have affected civilians in the three states, particularly in Borno.

“Since January, some 134,000 people have been forced out of their homes. In total, 7.1 million people need life-saving humanitarian assistance across the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“Their livelihoods have been affected by violence, deepening chronic vulnerabilities – food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics. Nearly 3 million people face food insecurity and malnutrition is threatening more than one million children,” he explained.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon acknowledged that aid agencies “have significantly scaled up and reached some two million people with aid this year.”

However, he said much more support “is urgently needed. We are worried about the tens of thousands of people who have recently fled rising violence and are still sleeping outside in the open.

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