8.5m persons need life-saving assistance in North-East – UN
The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) says over 8.5 million persons are in dire need of life-saving support due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
The agency said in its October North-East Humanitarian Report that 6.9 million displaced persons were targeted for life-saving assistance in 2017.
The fact-sheet showed that 5.2 million people were facing food insecurity and 5.1 million persons were targeted for food security interventions.
It indicated that humanitarian organisations in collaboration with the Federal Government had provided support to three million persons under the emergency food intervention programme.
The agency disclosed that 3.4 million persons, particularly children, expectant and nursing mothers, needed nutrition support, adding that 2.7 million people were targeted for assistance.
It also said that 2.1 million persons had so far benefited from various nutrition interventions designed to control malnutrition in the crisis-ravaged region.
It said more than 5.6 million of the estimated 6.9 million persons received health care service support through effective interventions provided by humanitarian organisations.
The agency said that 4 million persons benefited from outpatient services and 1.6 million persons under mobile medical activities.
It also revealed that 2.9 million children needed education support, adding that 986, 100 of the 1.6 million targeted children received education intervention since January.
“Some 787, 000 children received formal and non-formal education support, and 138, 400 children were provided with learning materials.
“Psycho-social support and basic life skills training was conducted for 11, 500 teachers,” it said, noting that humanitarian organisations received only 18 per cent of the total funding required.
The document showed that 3.9 million people needed water, sanitation and hygiene services and that the agency provided support to two million of the 2.4 million persons targeted for interventions.
Other highlights of the activities of the agency include the provision of safe drinking water to two million displaced persons and distribution of hygiene kits to 1.1 million people, while 773, 000 persons were provided with improved sanitation facilities.
On protection, the agency said that over 6.9 million people needed protection intervention, explaining that 2.4 persons were reached with intervention in the affected states.
OCHA, however, decried the spate of violence against civilians and IDPs, stressing that urgent measures were necessary to enhance protection and security of persons affected by the conflict.
It said that improved funding was imperative to fast-track implementation of humanitarian interventions to address the crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
“The humanitarian crisis in the North-East remains severe due to the ongoing conflict, continued internal displacement and an unpredictable return of refugees from neighbouring countries.
“Attacks against civilians including suicide bombings in and near sites for IDPs continue to be a major concern. At least seven person-borne explosive device attacks took place in October near Maiduguri.
“In planning and programming, the month of October is dedicated by humanitarian partners to carry in-depth assessment.
“The findings will feed into the humanitarian overview and 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan,” OCHA said.
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