UN to visit Nigeria ahead of humanitarian summit

Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien will visit Niger and Nigeria, from May 16 to 19, to take stock of the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin.

This is contained in a statement from the Office of the Special Adviser to the President Mohammed Buahri, in Abuja.

“The crisis in the Lake Chad Basin, including Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad has continuously deteriorated over the last two years. Insecurity, violence by boko haram and counter-insurgency measures has uprooted over 2.4 million people, making it the fastest growing displacement crisis in Africa. Communities in the Lake Chad Basin already struggle with the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, chronic food insecurity and malnutrition,” the statement said.

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The conflict has dramatically worsened the vulnerability of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

It has been observed that in the worst-affected areas, almost half the population, 9.2 million people, need assistance.

More than three million of them are affected by food insecurity.

The Under-Secretary-General is scheduled to travel to Niger from May 16-17 May and to Nigeria May18-19 May.

He is expected to visit Diffa and Maiduguri, to meet with displaced people, their host communities, local officials and humanitarian actors.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator’s visit precedes the first World Humanitarian Summit, which will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 23-24.

The Summit seeks to generate renewed focus on essential humanitarian commitments, highly relevant to the people of the region, including the need to ‘leave no one behind’ and to ‘prevent and end conflict.’