UNITED NATIONS

APART from scores of deaths of civilians and casualties in the military, in its operations against insurgents Boko Haram in Nigeria since 2009, United Nations said no fewer than 10 million people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger need timely and urgent aid due to insecurity resulting from Boko Haram insurgents.

Boko Haram’s campaign of terror escalated significantly in 2014, leading to large number of people displaced from their homes. Boko Haram began to seize territories late 2014, and controlled large expanse of areas in the north-east. There have also been mass kidnappings, especially of women and girls — 276 schoolgirls kidnapped from Chibok School, and lately, February 19, more than 100 schoolgirls from Dapchi School.

The latest incident of Dapchi schoolgirls’ abduction has been of grave concern locally and internationally. With over 100 girls still missing, Nigerian government has vowed to rescue the girls at all cost.  Combined rescue operations of the forces — army, air force, DSS, police are on-going to rescue the girls.

RESCUED CHIBOK GIRLS

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ursula Mueller, at the end of a visit to Chad, said urgent support is need for these countries.  Mueller said the humanitarian emergency across Lake Chad basin was among the most severe in the world.

She was on a 10-day mission to Chad, Central African Republic, CAR, and Cameroon. Mueller saw first-hand, the devastating humanitarian consequences of the ongoing violence.  She said: “It is unacceptable that these men, women and children who have lost everything, their home, belonging, livelihood and very often family members, continue to live in fear and uncertainty”.

Mueller’s words:  “Persistent insecurity and Boko Haram operations mean that more than 10 million people in four countries – Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria will need air assistance this year just to survive”.  She said urgent funding was needed to support 4.4 million people in Chad – made-up of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, as well as the communities hosting them.

Mueller emphasized the need for lasting solution to the Lake Chad region, as outlined by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair, OCHA.  OCHA said the closure of Chad’s border with Nigeria in 2015, when the crisis began in the LAC region, along with continued implementation of emergency measures, have also had an impact on local populations who already face poor regional development.

IDP CAMP IN NIGERIA

She said: “The activities of the extremist group Boko Haram, as well as violence in Sudan and the Central African Republic, have affected 500,000 people there, including 137,000 people the UN has deemed particularly vulnerable. During my visit to displacement sites, I saw the difficult living conditions and lack of means displaced communities face”.

Mueller said she was moved by the solidarity of host communities who were sharing the little they have with those forced to run for their lives.  And added:  “It is essential to strengthen the livelihoods of these communities who are the first lifeline for those fleeing violence and insecurity”.

She said the crisis is taking place against wide recurrent food shortages and entrenched poverty across Chad, where nearly four million people require emergency food assistance and more than 200,000 children under five are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition.

Mueller regretted that funding for humanitarian operations in Chad has not kept pace with increasing needs. She called on countries to step up support for Chad, which requires 544 million dollars in humanitarian funding in 2018.  So far, less than four per cent of that amount has been founded.

LEAVE A REPLY