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Over 7.1Million People Are Still in Need of Humanitarian Assistancein North East... UN OCHA

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humsnitatmrain Activities ( UN OCHA) has said that over 7 million are still in need of humanitarian assistance in the Northeast. This crisis deserves our sustained attention and renewed commitment.”

Speaking at a Three Day Civil security Cooperation in Humanitarian Intervention in the Northeast Workshop held at the Multipurpose Hall of the Government House, Maiduguri on Wednesday, the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Mr. Edward Kallon said “the Boko Haram haven reached its 10 year, the protracted crisis in the Northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe remains the largest Humanitarian crisis, with over 7 million still in need of humanitarian crisis. This crisis deserves our sustained attention and renewed commitment.”

He said “over the past 10 years, over 35,000 people have lost their lives in this crisis. About 14, 000 were civilians, but many others are members of the Nigerian Armed Forces..The crisis has also had a heavy tolll on aid workers and past years has marked a turning point in our response. Aid workers whether they are working for the United Nations International or national NGOs or ministries, departments and agencies has increasingly became targets of attack by the non state Armed group, criminals and pety thieves”.

” we are here today for this very important dialogue between the Government of Nigeria and the Humanitarian Community in the Northeast under the leadership of the the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.,”, Mr Kallon added.

The Resident Coordinator said ” most of us are familier with working in a slow onset emergencies, natural disasters and complex emergencies. However, working in a counter terrorism environment with a functioning Government like Nigeria requires constructive engagement, transparency and information sharing, adopting strategies and global.best practices to counter terrorism environment, needs best principled humanitarian action that hold each other accountable, recognisation of the sovereignty of the Government and Joint risks analysis and mitigation..”

While declaring opened the Workshop, President Muhammadu Buhari said “In the North East of Nigeria, the tension between the civil society organization and the security agencies deteriorated into a full-blown impasse this year, which eventually resulted in the suspension of activities of some international non-governmental organization by the theatre command of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.

President Buhari said ",following series of mediation efforts and high-level interactions between the Federal Government, leaders of the Humanitarian community and the United Nations, it was agreed that there was an urgent need to develop a Civil-Security Cooperation framework for Humanitarian Interventions in the North East.”

The President who was represented by the Minister for Defense, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd) said ” I should remind us that with the proliferation of complex security issues in conflict zones, civil society and security agencies need to work together on an unprecedented scale as these challenges cannot be easily resolved by either side alone. These security issues are not just those related to war on terror, but also associated security issues like humanitarian emergencies, starvation, diseases, banditry and organized crime. More often than not, the aftermath of some of these non-traditional security issues will involve post-conflict reconstruction and economic rejuvenation.”

“This requires increasingly diverse ancillary tasks for both military and civilian organizations, which necessitates collaboration. The complicated objectives of these activities require an integrated and coordinated response from a multitude of civilian and security actors. Thus, the imperative to actively debate and shape their aim and policies into a single, coherent strategy that encompasses both strategic and tactical objectives. This workshop would therefore serve as an important avenue to find solutions to some of the insecurity problems in the region.”, the president added.

“I want to remind us that in a Humanitarian environ, the Civil and Military actors need to work together. This workshop will serve as important avenue for us to find a lasting solution on Humanitarian crisis in the Northeast.,”. he said

In her welcome address, the Minster for Humanitarian Afaurs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiys Sadiya Umar Farouk said ” the Workshop is organized to improved civil and Security cooperation in the Northeast Nigeria.. This workshop is an indication of President Muhsmmadu Buhati's support to ensure that peace returns to the northeast.

” It is becoming increasingly difficult for humanitation actors to operate in the crisis ravaged region. The importance of the united nations Humanitarian workers cannot be over emphasize, therefore, military civil understanding is highly appreciated,” Mrs Farouk said.

Also.speaking , the Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum said ” the 2019 Humanitarian report indicates that 7.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in.the Northeast sub region. There is no.gainsaying the fact that humanitarian assistances coming from Development partners, INGOs, NGOs have been quite crucial in cushioning the effects of the overwhelming humanitarian crisis caused by the insurgency in the Northeast.”

” At this point what became of concern was the proliferation and heterogenety of non state actors which tend to create a host of problems, indeed, the sheer number of humanitarian NGOs often make it difficult to have an overview of their activities, let alone coordinate them. At a point we were having closed to.100 INGOs and NGOs operating in the state”, the governor said.

He said ” a bill is before the Borno state House of Assembly to give lt legall backing for the establishment of an agency that will provide a platform for the coordination of humanitarian interventions. This workshop will provide a platform to discuss a common.programme of action, share information and understanding operating procedures of one another.. This will in the end facilitate synergy of operation better resource utilization and optimal positive impact on peoples lived”.

In his goodwill message, the state minister for Budget, Planing and Economic Development. Prince Clement Akpsn said ” the Ministry of Finance and that of the Budget, Planing and Economic Development will work closely with the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to actualize its mandate.