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Red Cross to the rescue in terror-stricken northeast

05 November 2014, 21:24

Lagos - The International Red Cross City (ICRC) and the Nigerian Red Cross Society said they had completed the distribution of food and household essentials to over 50 000 people displaced by terror in the north-east.

The victims were said to be in "extremely difficult" conditions.

“Not only did people have to flee their homes in Kodunga, Kaga, Gwoza and Damboa, they also lost all their belongings and their means of earning a living. They didn’t have enough food and they lacked important basic items,” said Karl Mattli, head of the ICRC delegation in Nigeria.

“The additional strain placed on communities by hosting the displaced reached the point where it was more than they could bear.”

After carrying out an assessment of the situation, the ICRC and the Nigerian Red Cross launched an emergency operation to meet urgent needs. ICRC staff and more than a hundred Nigerian Red Cross volunteers distributed 960 metric tonnes of food and other relief items to 51 000 people.

Also read: Yobe upbeat at achievements despite prevalence of terror 

It is reported that most displaced people who arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, in the past few months were settled in government buildings, schools or official camps.

Some stayed with relatives or host families, with whom they shared scant resources, while others found refuge in informal settlements.

Whatever their living arrangements, the displaced cannot afford to buy their own food and therefore have had to depend on aid provided by the State or on the generosity of others to survive.

 “In the short term, the aid we have just distributed will improve significantly the well-being of the displaced,” said Janet Angelei, an ICRC economic-security specialist working in Nigeria.

“The kitchen sets, blankets, soap, mats, hygiene items and tarpaulins we have provided will meet some of their immediate needs and reduce the burden on the hosting families,” she said.

The ICRC said it also distributed about a month’s supply of rice, beans, oil and salt.

Thousands of lives have been lost in the north-east as a result of terror the vicious Boko Haram sect is perpetrating.

  - CAJ News


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