The United Nations (UN) has renewed its call for more interventions to address the nagging humanitarian crisis caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East.
The call was contained in a statement issued in Maiduguri by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA).
The UN said a team of senior officials had conducted a five-day assessment tour of Borno state and visited Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps in Damboa, Dikwa, Maiduguri and Rann.
It said the team observed that the humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe needed renewed support to face the recent upsurge in violence and growing humanitarian needs.
The UN quoted Mr Vincent Houver of the International Organization for Migration (IMO) as saying that “the crisis in the Lake Chad Region is far from over. The humanitarian community cannot spare any effort at this time.
“This week, we met women, children and men who were forced to flee multiple times and urgently need protection and assistance to survive and rebuild their lives. We cannot let them down.”
According to the UN agency, more than 134,000 persons had been displaced since January due to upsurge in violence and military counter-operations in the sub region.
It revealed that about 7.1 million people needed lifesaving assistance, including food, nutrition and healthcare interventions, while about three million others, including one million children, were vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.
UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, disclosed that aid agencies had scaled up humanitarian response to address the situation.
“Aid agencies have significantly scaled up and reached some two million people with aid this year.
“However; much more supports are urgently needed. We are worried about the tens of thousands of people who have recently fled due to rising violence and are still sleeping outside in the open.
“With the rainy season progressing, they will face increased risk of diseases and will need immediate protection,” Kallon said.
The UN also quoted Mr Christian Gad of the Danish Refugee Council as adding that “some of the people we met have been living in IDP camps for several years.
“All actors, including government and the private sector in Nigeria, need to join forces to help those affected by the crisis to recover in dignity and restart their lives.”
It explained that the UN and its partners have appealed for 848 million dollars to enable it to provide urgent life-saving assistance to 6.2 million people in 2019, adding that the response plan was so far 32.6 per cent funded.
It stressed that more funding was urgently needed to sustain the humanitarian response.
During the visit, the team met with the officials of Borno Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Gov. Babagana Zulum, a wide range of UN agencies and humanitarian organisations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the team included Ms Reena Ghelani, Director, Operations and Advocacy Division (UN-OCHA) and Ms Sheila Grudem, Deputy Director, Emergency Preparedness and Response Support Division, World Food Programme (WFP).
Others were Mr Christian Gad, Head, Emergencies, Danish Refugee Council, Mr Vincent Houver, Deputy Director, Department of Operations and Emergencies, IMO and Mr José Barahona, Director, Emergency Response, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Mr Andrew Mbogori, Principal Emergency Coordinator, Division of Emergency Services, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Dr Renee Van de Weerdt, Acting Director, Emergency Operations, World Health Organisation (WHO) were also part of the team.
Palestinian Death Toll in Gaza Rises to 29,195 Amid Israeli Attacks
The death toll in the Gaza Strip has risen to 29,195 with 69,170 others wounded as the Israeli attacks continue, The Gaza-based Health Ministry said on Tuesday.
The Israeli army had killed 103 Palestinians and wounded 142 others in the Strip during the past 24 hours, the ministry said in a press statement.
It was noted that some victims remained under the rubble amid heavy bombardment and a lack of civil defence and ambulance crews.
Meanwhile, Israeli media outlets said the Israeli army forces were continuing their operations in the north centre and south of the Gaza Strip against Hamas, and have killed many fighters.
The Israeli army announced the death of a 22-year-old soldier as a result of his wounds in the Gaza battles.
The death of the 22-year-old soldier raised the death toll of Israeli soldiers killed in the ground operation to 236.
In addition, the Israeli army revealed a video of Israeli detainees alive in the first days of their detention in the Gaza Strip on Monday.
The video was showing a woman and her two children wrapped in a blanket, taken by gunmen in Khan Yunis, south of the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the family had been kidnapped by an organization calling itself the “Mujahideen Brigades.” (Xinhua/NAN)
Namibian President’s Death a Great Loss to Citizens, Africa, the World —Envoy
Namibia’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Humphrey Geiseb has eulogised the country’s late President Hage Geingob, describing his death as a great loss to the country, Africa, and the world.
Geiseb made this known during a memorial church service in honour of Geingob, held at the Catholic Church of Assumption in Abuja, on Monday.
According to him, a lot of lessons can be learned from the life of the late president, who was a champion for a better life for disadvantaged persons in Namibia.
Geiseb said: “His death is a great loss to Namibians, Africans and the whole world; we have lost a visionary leader as president and one who was a champion of many causes.
“He championed the cause of the poor, unemployed, elderly women and made sure there was an improvement in the number of women represented in the cabinet, as well as parliament during his tenure.
“President Geingob was an advocate of the less powerful in the society, through his labour he made sure that those who were less powerful were catered for and also mainstreamed in governance.”
He added that the late president was a good leader, noting that the quantum of condolence messages, which he received from Nigerians were a reflection of his goodness to the people.
Amb. John Shinkaiye, who paid tribute on behalf of the Association of Retired Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) described Geingob as a Pan-Africanist.
“We pay tribute to the late president and mourn his passing with his family, Africa, the Commonwealth and other organisations in which he played outstanding roles.
“We pray his family be comforted and his departure will be honoured by the continuation of a peaceful and vibrant Namibia.”
Amb. Poscaline Vokiwuge Gerengbo of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who paid tribute on behalf of the Group of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Ambassadors, said Geingob lived a life worthy of emulation.
“On behalf of SADC Ambassadors in Abuja, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and people of Namibia.
“May you find comfort during this difficult time; our presence here is in admiration of a man who gave up his lifetime dedicated to his country and continent at large,” Gerengbo said.
Also speaking, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, former Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, described Geingob as a brother, confidant and passionate African, who was fearless, confident and engaging.
“His sense of statesmanship was similar to leaders like Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and all those great men and women on whose shoulders we stand today.
“He was an outstanding visionary, who saw the transition of his country from an oppressive apartheid regime to embrace ethnic diversity and create room for younger people to share in the vision of Namibia.
“There are not less than 50 Namibians in Nigeria, while there are not less than 3000 Nigerians in Namibia,” Gambari said.
The event, which was officiated by Rev. Fr. Stephen Omale, members of the diplomatic community, attracted former governors and top government officials, as well as the Namibian community in Nigeria.
Reports says that the late President Geingob died on February 4 at the age of 82. (NAN)
U.S. Senate Approves Ukraine Aid Package
The U.S. Senate has approved a 95.3 billion dollar aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan after many weeks of negotiations.
The bill has passed 70 to 29 in the Democratic-led chamber.
However, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives is far from certain, as former president and 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump had urged Republicans to avoid passing legislation.
Trump said that this would give President Joe Biden a chance to claim a legislative victory.
The two politicians are likely to battle for the presidency, once again in November.
The United States has considered Ukraine’s most important ally in the defence against the Russian invasion, since the start of the war in February 2022.
The Biden administration has provided or pledged military aid totalling more than 44 billion dollars for Kiev.
The aid package passed by the Senate includes around 60 billion dollars in aid for Ukraine, the majority of which is earmarked for military support.
This was roughly the amount that Biden had originally requested.
The draft also includes 14 billion dollars for Israel as well as billions in aid for Taiwan and other partners in the Indo-Pacific. (dpa/NAN)
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