Reasons NE Crisis Requires Optimal Support

Humanitarian interventions in reconstructing the devastations in NE Nigeria, will require a whooping $1bn in 2018, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA, Nigeria) has said.

The fund is  needed to meet some of the needs of about 6.1m people of 7.7m in dire need of humanitarian response in the region.

Head of Communications OCHA,  Samantha Newport in a presentation at a 2-day joint Humanitarian media dialogue on Reporting Humanitarian Crisis in Northeast Nigeria, noted that nine years of conflict in the NE have caused a humanitarian crisis of massive proportions.

“Hence, in 2016, the Government of Nigeria asked for international support; and by 2017, 14m people in the NE had needed life-saving assistance in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe,  Bauchi,  Taraba and Gombe”, said, Newport.

However, said, Jubril Shittu, “continued insecurity prevents us from reaching 900,000 people.  We do not have access to them. The situation keeps changing, people keep moving and it’s difficult to plan ahead.

“Also,  renewed attacks on returnees in parts of Borno and Yobe States may affect full realisation of recovery and reconstruction unless optimal attention is given by Federal Government to secure the region”,said Shittu.

Also speaking during the media dialogue, Abdullah Umar of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) noted that though the agency’s mandate handles immediate emergency, in principle, it doesn’t discriminate, pick sides in conflict, don’t get involved in politics and it is independent.

UNFPA Media Specialist, Habib Kori, expressed the concern of the Fund in realising maximum needs to protect the dignity of women in IDP camps from environmental violence.

“Gender Based Violence in IDPs affects all women and girls and issue of protection is mostly the prerogative of government which cannot be compromised at all”, said Kori.

The health life threatening situation of the displaced persons in the NE needs urgent and optimal support, says Jorge Martinez, Health Sector Coordinator, MoH/WHO.

According to Martinez, “more than 50 percent of the health facilities in the NE are still damaged or non-functional.

“There is a very strong need to strengthen Surveillance in the health sector response especially in Trauma and Primary Healthcare, severe and acute malnutrition (SAM), epidemic prone diseases such as Polio, malaria,  measles,  acute water diarrhea among others”, said Martinez.

The Health sector coordinator disclosed that the WHO would need $109.5m in funding in 2018 to meet the health requirements of 5,123,196 displaced persons out of the 7,884,933m who actually need help.

For two days, writers drawn across, Health, Judiciary, Human Rights and Life are interacting with key UN agencies working in NE to understand reasons plights of internally displaced persons deserve optimal attention.

Under the aegis of the UN Systems, the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNHCR and International NGOs (INGO forum) brought together experts from the field to explain roles each is playing in assisting Nigeria rebuild the NE.

 

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