The United Nations has marked 10 years of the Boko Haram insurgency and humanitarian crisis in the North-East of Nigeria, saying the crisis is far from over.
The UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday, noting that the insurgents’ attack on Nganzai in Borno State last week where “more than 50 innocent civilians lost their lives” was a reminder that the conflict was still raging.
This is just as the Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Mala Buni, stated at the gathering that more than seven million residents of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa were still in need of humanitarian assistance.
Kallon said, “Ten years ago, clashes at the Maiduguri’s central mosque claimed the lives of about 700 people. This incident was a precursor to what has now become a regionalised armed conflict with non-state armed groups and one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world.
“We are gathered together in grave concern for the hundreds of thousands of people who are still trapped in areas we cannot reach to provide them urgent lifesaving humanitarian assistance. More than five million people last year had food on their plates, thanks to our combined efforts.
“Nearly two million Nigerians, who are internally displaced, have found refuge in camps managed together by humanitarians and state agencies. This year alone, more than one million children received measles vaccinations.
“In February 2019, we built an entirely new camp in Maiduguri for the tens of thousands who fled insecurity in northern Borno State.”
Buni noted that the government would do more than humanitarian assistance and ensure the “recreation, reconstruction and resettlements of people.”
He said, “In the years since it began, the Boko Haram has become the worst humanitarian crisis in our lifetime. Yobe State is only second to Borno in terms of devastation and disruption by the terrorists.”
There are now more than seven million people in the three affected states that are still in need of dire humanitarian assistance.
“Prior to the crisis, the North-East was the lowest in development in relation to the rest of the country particularly in education and infrastructure. Many believe that poverty, joblessness and ignorance are some of the factors that have aided the insurgency.”