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UN steps up assistance as Boko Haram crisis surges

01 July 2016, 19:00

Abuja - United Nations and partners are stepping up assistance amid high levels of severe malnutrition and desperate conditions in areas that have recently opened up to humanitarian assistance.

Acting UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Munir Safieldin, said improving security has enabled humanitarians to access areas that were previously cut off.

“The conditions we are seeing there are devastating,” Safieldin said.

“While the Nigerian Government and humanitarian organizations have stepped up relief assistance, the situation in these areas requires a much faster and wider response,” added Safieldin.

More people in urgent need of assistance are being found. However, many localities in Borno State remain inaccessible owing to the ongoing violence and insecurity.

We estimate that there will be almost a quarter of a million children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition in Borno this year,”
said United Nations Children’s Fund Nigeria Representative Jean Gough.

“Unless we reach these children with treatment, one in five of them will die. We cannot allow that to happen.”

Also read:PHOTOS: Boko Haram suffers humiliating defeat

Despite the persistent insecurity, UN agencies, working closely with the Government of Nigeria and the Borno State Government, along with IOM and other NGO partners, are reaching new areas in Borno such as Bama, Damboa, Dikwa and Monguno that have recently become accessible.

UNICEF is providing health and nutrition support, safe water and other services in the newly opened areas and IOM is providing household and other relief items. FAO is also providing food and will be distributing seeds and supporting farmers.

World Food Programme, the Dangote Foundation and other partners are working to identify sustainable solutions to delivering food in conjunction with government partners.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), on June 27 , released US$13 million to provide immediate life-saving food, nutrition and protection assistance to 250 000 newly accessible people in the north-east.

The UN and other humanitarian partners are urgently seeking additional donor funding of US$204 million for continued humanitarian response in the north-east.

- CAJ News


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