The United Nations (UN) has lamented the pathetic condition of victims of the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s North- East, disclosing that the humanitarian crisis in the troubled region is the fourth biggest in the world.
This was pointed out to newsmen by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, stating that the North-East situation ranks only below the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
He observed that nothing was working in the hinterlands of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states as all schools, hospitals, banks and other social infrastructures have been destroyed by the terrorists.
Kallon, who is also the UNDP Resident Representative in the country, narrated; “During my visit to the three most affected States in North East, I have seen widespread suffering among the survivors of the insurgency – children with no food, widows with no source of livelihood, idling youths and hopeless communities.
“Over 50% per cent of the displaced in the region are children. In an already economically deprived region, around 76 per cent of IDPs are staying with host communities placing a huge strain on infrastructure and resources.
“Even with the current response by the humanitarian family on the ground, as more areas become liberated, the humanitarian needs are also rising.”
Pointing out that the United Nations will not be able to provide the support needed by the victims; he said an estimated 450,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition in Borno State alone over the next 12 months.
Kallon regretted that assistance was still being hampered by lack of sufficient funding despite the progress so far made by the government and non-governmental agencies.
“Immediate funding is urgently required to support the scale-up of humanitarian operations. To this end, an International Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin is being organized in Oslo Norway next week.
“This is a great opportunity for the International Community to make meaningful commitments towards funding our humanitarian response activities. It is also an opportunity for the Government of Nigeria to tell the world the true extent of this crisis,” he said.