Boko Haram: Prepare for spike in conflict, hunger in Northeast – UN warns Nigeria

The deteriorating security situation in Northeast Nigeria since the beginning of the year 2020 calls for urgent support for victims of the conflict who are majorly rural dwellers, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon has said.

According to him, the number of people needing humanitarian assistance is the highest ever recorded in five years of a joint humanitarian response.

The humanitarian coordinator said, “The COVID- 19 pandemic is affecting us all. Its devastating effects will distress Nigeria’s most fragile region. Unless we take immediate action, we should prepare for a spike in conflict, hunger and destitution in Northeast Nigeria.”

Speaking at an online High-level Briefing, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, joined by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq and Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, as well as other UN and NGO representatives, stressed that the COVID- 19 pandemic exacerbates the dire Humanitarian situation in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States, and risks wreaking havoc on the most vulnerable population.

The UN said over 10.6 million people – out of a total of 13 million, or four in five people – will need some form of Humanitarian assistance in 2020. This is close to a 50 percent increase in people in need since last year, mainly from increasing violence and insecurity further compounded by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

“The ongoing conflict in Northeast Nigeria – now is its eleventh year – and the upsurge in violence witnessed over the past year in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states have deepened humanitarian needs.” Mr Mellon observed.

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