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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Insecurity: Over 3.5 million displaced by crisis in Nigeria – UN

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The United Nations has said that over 3.5 million people are internally displaced in Nigeria due to different crises.

It said that about 37 aid workers have died in the last years due to the insurgency in the northeast, mostly affecting Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states. The statement said additional 24 were wounded and 34 kidnapped.

Speaking at the commemoration of the World Humanitarian Day, which was marked in Abuja by a road walk by stakeholders in the humanitarian sector, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Nasir Sani Gwarzo, noted that the essence of this year’s theme, “No Matter What” encapsulates the profound essence of humanitarian action, being the core principle that drives humanitarians is their steadfast commitment to extending life-saving assistance, irrespective of an individual’s identity or geographical location.

He said: “Humanitarian workers stand as beacons of hope, traversing perilous paths to ensure aid reaches its intended recipients, regardless of the challenges they encounter. In recognising that crises recognise no boundaries, humanitarians, too, acknowledge no barriers in their mission to assist those in dire need—No Matter What.”

Gwarzo said: “It is paramount to acknowledge that frontline humanitarian workers are integral to the well-being of our nation. Their selfless endeavours amidst conflict zones and areas afflicted by natural disasters epitomise service to Nigeria. Their altruism not only ameliorates the conditions of those they assist but also contributes to the stability and prosperity of our nation. Regrettably, since 2016, the Aid Workers Security Database has recorded the tragic loss of 37 aid workers, with 24 wounded and 34 kidnapped in the North East of Nigeria. The current year has already witnessed the kidnapping of five aid workers in the North East, alongside similar incidents from various corners of our nation.

He said: “As we gather here today to mark World Humanitarian Day, it is vital to acknowledge that countless individuals are grappling with humanitarian crises across Nigeria. These crises stem from diverse causes, ranging from insurgency and banditry to clashes between farmers and herders, compounded by the impacts of climate change. According to the UNHCR Operating Data, a staggering 3,578,966 internally displaced persons were recorded as of June 2023 in the North East, North West, and North Central regions of Nigeria. Families, venerable and resilient, find themselves navigating dire circumstances, often contending with acute needs such as sustenance, shelter, water, protection, and livelihoods.

“In the face of these challenges, both the Government of Nigeria and the entire humanitarian community have redoubled their efforts to provide meaningful responses. These endeavours are a testament to the resolute commitment of aid workers who persistently deliver assistance under the most challenging circumstances, embodying the essence of this year’s World Humanitarian Day theme.”

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