Borno Governor attends UN Humanitarian conference

Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State is in Oslo, Norway, where he is expected to speak at a two-day United Nations’ donor conference, jointly hosted by the Governments of Norway, Germany and Nigeria.

A statement by the Borno State Government said the conference will focus on the humanitarian crisis arising from the Boko Haram insurgency in North-eastern Nigeria and other communities within the Lake Chad Region.

The statement said the conference was scheduled to hold on Thursday, February 23 and Friday, February 24, 2017, with donors from different countries expected to make financial commitments needed by humanitarian agencies to increase aid and rebuilding of livelihoods for victims of attacks in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Those expected at the event are UN envoys, humanitarian workers from the USAID, European Union and other parts of the world, as well as foreign ministers of the three host countries.

The statement by the Borno State Government says Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Godfrey Onyema, is leading Nigeria’s Federal delegation, while Governor Kashim Shettima has been invited to speak on the humanitarian crisis arising from the Boko Haram insurgency in his state, as the worst affected by insurgent attacks.

According to the statement, Governor Shettima is scheduled to address some participants on Thursday before joining a panel to discuss “Response and Recovery towards Durable Solutions”.‎

He is speaking alongside the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Filippo Grandi; the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon; Mr. Jan Egeland‎ of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Also, Mr. Bill Swing‎ of the UN International Committee on Migration is expected to moderate the panel.

All panellists are expected to focus on the role of international partners in supporting returns, modalities of forging closer links between emergency response and long-term recovery, ensuring greater involvement of national and local authorities in assisting families restart their lives and how particular needs of women and girls would be addressed.

The conference aims at increasing international commitment to addressing humanitarian needs and rebuilding of livelihoods and to deepen cooperation on addressing the problems. A joint outcome is expected at the end of the conference on Friday.

The concept note on the conference shows that, 26 million people in Nigeria live in areas affected by Boko Haram attacks, with 10.7 million people in need of life-saving assistance in the most affected areas in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

It shows that ‎the Boko Haram insurgency and its spill over into neighbouring Cameroon, Chad and Niger had caused the displacement of over 2.3 million people in the region, of which 1.77 million are internally displaced in Nigeria, while some 201,600 Nigerian refugees have sought asylum in Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Other issues in the concept note are that the refugee-hosting countries have sizeable population of Internally Displaced People, (Cameroon: 198,889; Chad: 103,876; and Niger: 121,391).

That conflict continues to cause new and secondary displacement, while access to food and basic services is considerably limited and often result in negative coping mechanisms, while livelihoods, including from cross-border trade, continue to be severely constrained, and the social cohesion among communities has been badly damaged.

The situation is further compounded by the fragile socio-economic context of the Sahel, which includes chronic poverty, harsh climatic conditions, poor infrastructure and limited access to basic services.