Children in IDP camp
Children in IDP camp

The United Nations have given at least 8.5 million Nigerians trapped in the North Eastern part of the country who are in urgent need of life-saving relief and protection.
Under Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien disclosed this during his remarks to the press at the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and Lake Chad Region which took place in Abuja, Friday.
O’Brien said, ‘’We have a humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Region which is truly massive: a staggering 10.7 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance – that is twice the population of Norway as a whole – and who urgently need life-saving relief and protection tonight. And 8.5 million of that 10.7 million are in north-eastern Nigeria around the epicentre of Maiduguri.’’
Speaking on the humanitarian situation in the region he said, ‘’ With our international community’s increased support, beginning today, affected families and communities – and that includes these very important first responders and host communities who often have very little for themselves but are the ones who step up first and support people who have had to flee through no fault of their own – if we don’t step up, they will all face a life of hunger, even famine in some areas of north-east Nigeria, as announced on Tuesday at the United Nations – so disease, gender-based violence and continued displacement accompany all that.’’
The UN Under Secretary who lamented a situation where Children will face a bleak future of illiteracy, malnutrition, risk of forced recruitment into armed groups and premature death said, ‘’Today, I have launched the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund to support life-saving operations in the North-East.’’
He explained that the fund will enable donors to pool their contributions to deliver a more effective, collective and immediate response, as he encouraged all donors to support this initiative.
‘’I am deeply grateful to those who have already so committed. What lies behind this is that catastrophes such as a famine can be averted now if we step up in a timely, sufficiently advanced manner.’’
We are sending a very clear message today: as the international community is stepping up, and is supporting a scale-up, supporting the governments of the region, we can stop and reverse a further descent into an ever-deepening crisis with unimaginable consequences for millions of people and an entire generation of children and youth, O’ Brien said. ‘’With the affected governments, in concert with those governments, and the leadership in-country – and local governments – we, the international community representing all the people behind the governments of those who donate, the UN agencies, the ICRC, the local and international NGOs, we can bring hope. ‘’
The UN Chief further disclosed that the UN and other partners in Nigeria have already been reaching 2.1 million people with food assistance, with over four million with emergency care and over 1.7 million with water and sanitation, despite the high-risk environment of reaching people with access.
We already have a track record of success behind which the donors can generously get behind and back us as we now see the compound factors leading to the need for scale-up. 2 Particular for this region,
Meanwhile, he noted that the humanitarian appeal is for US$1.5 billion for the Lake Chad Basin region in 2017, adding that already that a third of the amount has been raised to help save lives.

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