DAKAR, March 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Boko Haram's
insurgency in northeastern Nigeria and around Lake Chad has
uprooted more than 2.4 million people and left some 10.7 million
in need of aid in a humanitarian catastrophe considered to be
one of the world's most neglected crises.
International donors at a conference in Norway last month
pledged $672 million in new money for the Lake Chad region for
the next three years.
The United Nations says it needs $1.5 billion this year
alone in humanitarian aid for the region - which includes Chad,
Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria - where seven million people risk
The U.N. Security Council this week visited the region and
said "barely enough is being done" to aid the situation.
Here are the views of some leading aid agencies on how to
tackle the crisis.
MOHAMED FALL - Nigeria Representative for the U.N.
children's agency (UNICEF)
"We need to be able to access those people living in areas
that still cannot be reached with any kind of humanitarian
assistance. There are pockets of famine-like conditions in Borno
state and millions of people are in need of urgent support. We
need coordination on funding to avoid duplication of efforts by
different organisations and partners in the same area. We must
make sure that children do not miss out on education; we must
make sure to keep a focus on peacebuilding and life skills so
that we can break the cycle of violence and help to rebuild the
social fabric of the area."
CASIE TESFAI - Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition at the
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
"The ongoing war against Boko Haram has transformed a
fragile situation where livelihoods have been destroyed and
millions have fled into an emergency where 540,000 children are
expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year. The
IRC recognises that addressing this crisis requires a
coordinated attack on all fronts driving malnutrition — health,
water and sanitation, food security and nutrition. We don't just
need a scale-up of aid, we need better aid and an investment in
new solutions to address this problem."
PATRICK YOUSSEF - Deputy Regional Director for Africa at the
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
"The conflict has separated families, destroyed access to
food, water, education, shelter, and health care. Since the end
of 2016, the overall humanitarian response has increased in the
region, yet these efforts must be expanded further if we truly
want to scale back the suffering and avert a worsening of an
already dire situation. The ICRC has started to move from
emergency food relief to greater support to livelihood
initiatives, identifying with affected communities ways to
provide more durable and sustained solutions centred around
resilience and self-reliance."
PAULINE BALLAMAN - Lake Chad Basin Response Lead for Oxfam
"After eight years of conflict the people
of northeast Nigeria are on the brink. They desperately need
food, clean water, shelter and safety. Oxfam is helping in the
areas that we can reach, but there are many more people still
trapped in areas that humanitarian organisations can't get to.
We urgently need to find ways to ensure people can safely move
to assistance or that organisations can get to them to provide
much needed support."
BRIGITTE MUKANGA ENO - Acting Representative to Nigeria for the
U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR)
"The psychosocial needs of the displaced population are vast
and largely unmet. For many of these people, day-to-day survival
remains an existential struggle. The experience of violence,
persistent fear, uncertainty and loss among the displaced is
exacerbated by a sense of a loss of dignity, as many feel
ashamed of their often dire living conditions and inability to
change their circumstances."
(Reporting By Kieran Guilbert, Editing by Astrid Zweynert.
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