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Urgent action needed to prevent further deterioration of humanitarian situation in north-east Nigeria

by IFRC | International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Monday, 20 February 2017 05:39 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Abuja, 18 February 2017 The Secretary General of the IFRC has called for more assistance and support for communities in Nigeria’s north-east.

Following a visit to Maiduguri in Nigeria’s Borno State, Elhadj As Sy recognized the progress made in responding to humanitarian needs. However, he noted that, despite the improved response, the vulnerabilities of communities are growing.

“I was touched by the conditions that I saw in Maiduguri,” he said. “I am especially concerned that the vulnerability of communities I met with, and of communities throughout the north-east, is likely to deepen in the coming months as food insecurity worsens as we approach the June-August lean season.

“It is clear that, despite the dedication and commitment of the many humanitarian organizations on the ground, more support is needed.”

These challenges are further compounded by the difficulties many humanitarian organizations face in accessing some of the worst-affected areas as a result of insecurity across the region.

Mr Sy emphasized the need for secure humanitarian space. During the visit, he met with the families of the Red Cross volunteers who were killed in an air strike on the town of Rann in Borno state, in January. He also visited some of the volunteers injured in that incident at a local hospital where they are still recovering.

Mr Sy praised the work of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The NRCS has been supporting communities in north-east Nigeria since the crisis first began. With the support of the ICRC and IFRC, Red Cross volunteers have accompanied communities in Adamawa, Borno andYobe states, providing basic health services, shelter, and water and sanitation support

The IFRC is also calling on its partners in the region and globally to increase their support for Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency operations in north-east Nigeria. This additional funding will allow volunteers to better respond to immediate humanitarian needs, as well as begin rolling out initiatives designed to strengthen longer-term resilience.

For more information, please contact:

In Abuja: Nwakpa O. Nwapka, Communications Manager, Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Mobile: +2348034736200, Email: nwakpaon@redcrossnigeria.org

In Nairobi: Euloge Ishimwe, Communications Manager, Africa, Mobile: +254 731 688 613, Email: euloge.ishimwe@ifrc.org

In Geneva: Matthew Cochrane, Manager, Media and Advocacy, Mobile: +41 79 251 80 39, Email: matthew.cochrane@ifrc.org