Jutha Gupah, Maiduguri

The UN agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs); under auspices of Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC), seek renewed support to overcome humanitarian crisis in Northeast. The new emergency support, according to UN, was to face recent upsurge in conflict and humanitarian needs of people in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon; in a statement Saturday in Maiduguri; said: “Much more support is urgently needed. “We’re extremely worried about the tens of thousands of people who have recently fled rising violence and are still sleeping outside in the open.” He said the UN and other aid agencies; have significantly scaled up and reached some two million people with aid this year. He warned that with the rainy season progressing, they will face increased risk of diseases and need immediate protection. Ms. Reena Ghelani, the Director of Operations and Advocacy for the UN office for coordination of humanitarian affairs said the number of people, who are facing food insecurity; has increased to three million; since last October. According to her; “During our mission, we met with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Executive Governor of Borno State, as well as a wide range of UN agencies, humanitarian NGOs and partners in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. We also visited several camps for internally displaced persons in Maiduguri and some of the towns most affected by the crisis at Damboa, Dikwa, and Rann, a border community with Cameroon.” Ghelani laments that: “This committee is raising the alarm on the current humanitarian crisis in region. The crisis in the Lake Chad region, for example; is far from over. “This is not the time for the humanitarian community and the rest of the international community to spare any effort.” Ghelani, who led a delegation of aid agencies to Borno state, said: “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. “Millions of people here still need our urgent support. We cannot let them down.” She said since January, over 134,000 people have been forced from their homes. According to her, the violence continues to disrupt livelihoods and deepening the impact of chronic vulnerabilities such as food insecurity, malnutrition and epidemics in affected communities. She said some of the people the committee members visited last week; is living in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for several years. The UN and its partners have appealed for $848 million to provide life-saving assistance to 6.2 million people this year. As the response plan is 32.6 per cent funded, there is significant additional funding needed urgently to sustain the humanitarian response. This; according to her; was to avoid an interruption in life-saving services that would further exacerbate the dire situation.