Abuja - The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer, has called on the international community and other humanitarian organizations to do more to address the consequences of the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad region.
Maurer is on his first official visit to Nigeria.
After visiting the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, at the epicentre of fighting between Boko Haram and the Nigerian army, the ICRC president expressed alarm at the scale of the humanitarian needs and the mental and physical scars the violence is leaving on the population.
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“Whole communities have fled their villages and endured unimaginable suffering. Traumatized people, without homes, belongings, income and education for their children – what does the future hold for them? They need support far beyond what the ICRC can provide, yet in many hard-hit places we find ourselves alone. This is a big problem that is not going anywhere, and it demands serious attention,” said Maurer.
He noted that the conflict had spread beyond Nigeria’s borders into neighbouring Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
An estimated 1,5 million people have been displaced, mostly within Nigeria itself.
Maurer warned that were no quick fixes.
“Even if the fighting stops tomorrow, it will take years of investment and painstaking work to rebuild livelihoods and services, overcome the trauma and find some sense of normality.”
- CAJ News