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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Amid increasing terror attacks, UN to scale up intervention in Nigeria

The United Nations (UN) has said it will scale up its intervention in Nigeria where a huge humanitarian crisis had sprung up due to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

UN Secretary General’s special envoy in West Africa Mohammed Ibn Chambas on Friday told reporters in Abuja the global organization was alert to the huge humanitarian crisis in the West African country.

The envoy said UN will implore all its agencies to scale up support in combating Boko Haram and the consequence of their terrorist activities.

“Let me emphasize that the UN is working hand in glove with the federal and state authorities and agencies. We do not pretend to be able to address all these needs alone, we acknowledge the work that is being done by the state and federal authorities. And we are mobilizing the international community to complement this effort of Nigeria and itself,” said the envoy who had been in the country since early this week, together with his team to assess the situation in Nigeria’s northeast region.

According to him, just in terms of deployment of personnel alone, UN has moved up from 40 internationals who are in Borno State to more than 200 because of the task at hand.

In scaling up its support, UN is fully committed to the welfare of the internally displaced people (IDP) in Nigeria, the envoy said.

“We have deployed two helicopters which are now able to take food and other supplies to communities which we still cannot reach by road and they are operating on a daily basis,” he said, adding that clinics and schools have also been provided by the UN in all the IDP camps.

Since the beginning of 2016, 2.6 million conflict-affected people have been given access to UNICEF-supported preventative healthcare services and nearly 75,000 children have been treated for severe acute malnutrition in northeast Nigeria.

The construction and rehabilitation of boreholes has provided nearly half a million people with improved access to safe water. Safe learning spaces, teacher training and educational supplies have helped over 72,000 children to restart their education and some 133,000 children have been provided with psychosocial support.

The Borno State has been a stronghold of the extremist group Boko Haram and has been frequently raided in the past six years. In past months, the Nigerian government has launched several military operations to eliminate the terrorist threat.

Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for some 20,000 deaths and displacing of more than 2.6 million people since 2009.

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