Friday, February 24, 2017 12:01 am
The Friday’s major donor conference in Oslo seeking to generate global action to tackle the complex crisis caused by Boko Haram terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin, is appealing for 1.5 billion dollars.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien , who disclosed this, regretted that millions in the Lake Chad basin were suffering “at no fault of their own” and, therefore, need world’s support at the summit at the Norwegian capital.
O’Brien’s remarks came ahead of the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region, which will be held on Friday to be hosted by Norway, together with Nigeria, Germany and the UN.
Aiming to draw attention to the crisis, which has been largely overlooked, the event seeks to mobilize greater international involvement and increased funding for humanitarian efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), nearly 11 million people in the region, comprising Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, need humanitarian assistance.
“The appeal, amounting 1.5 billion dollars will fund relief operations in the region, including, inter alia, providing life-saving food and nutrition support to 1.6 million people, livelihood support to 1.4 million and primary health care for 4.4 million.
“It will also provide measles vaccinations for over one million children, education support for almost 300,000 girls and boys and safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene for 2.3 million displaced families and their host communities.
“Of the total population in need (10.7 million), about 8.5 million are in north-eastern Nigeria which has seen years of violence as a result of Boko Haram militancy,” O’Brien said.
The UN relief chief highlighted that investing in support for the region would in turn help to strengthen broader security around the world for all to benefit.
The opportunity we have at this gathering in Oslo is for a partnership between those who have been calling for enormous amounts of support in the region and to make sure that we can meet the needs of people as they go through terrible suffering, through no fault of their own, he said.
Noting the challenges in northeastern Nigeria particularly, O’Brien hailed the work of the humanitarian actors on the ground.
“They are staying, they are delivering, there have been some terrible and tragic losses of very brave and brilliant aid workers, and they continue working in some of the most atrocious and difficult conditions,” O’Brien said.
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the Head of OCHA, pointed out that the 2016 appeal was only about 50 per cent funded.
He underlined that it meant that “we can only do about half of what we know needs to be done”.
The UN aid chief also noted that the international community had to be a partner and show that it has enough capacity and enable relief programmes for those who need it the most.
O’Brien said that the support would help ensure that “the people in need can get water and food; we can avert the terrible severe acute malnutrition, we can seek to avert famine, which is exacerbated by some of the climatic events, and indeed, climate change”. (NAN)