Says 3.4m Pregnant Women, Under-5s, Need Nutritional Help In Region
Almost one month after, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), coordinating humanitarian assistance in Nigeria’s Boko Haram ravaged North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, on Thursday provided more insight into the January 17 attack on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State, killing yet undisclosed number of persons in what has been described as a misfire by the Nigerian Air Force.
In a maiden report titled: “Humanitarian Response in the north-east | Monthly Briefing No. 1,” which gives account of conditions and activities in the camps, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said 98 people were airlifted to Maiduguri for treatment in a four-day medical evacuation from Rann, home to around 35,000 IDPs, while another 335 were attended to the different international health agencies.
According to the report, “the airstrike occurred as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) aid workers were starting to distribute food to the IDPs and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was vaccinating against measles and also distributing food. ICRC surgical team performed 78 operations in Maiduguri hospitals and treated 107 injured people in Rann, where MSF also treated around 150 patients.
OCHA also noted the critical conditions of many IDPs in the region, concluding that the situation is still critical and in need of more collaborative efforts.
Giving a breakdown of humanitarian activities in the month of January in the region, UNDP estimated that 3.4 million IDPs, including children under the age of five, pregnant and lactating women need nutrition assistance, of which 450,000 are under-five children could suffer from severe acute malnutrition.
A total of “2,731 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition, 79% of them recovered while 14% dropped out of treatment, 5% did not survive,” even as over one million people receive food assistance, with the Food Security Sector providing cash or in-kind food assistance and pre-existing people-in-need.
A breakdown of the assistance provided shows that “1.1 million people in Borno and Yobe received assistance through in-kind transfers (general food distribution) and through cash-based transfers; 51,171 people received agricultural inputs through the distribution of seeds, tools, fertilizer, poultry, and restocking with small ruminants, as well as assistance for alternative livelihoods through small-scale enterprises and other cash-generating activities.”
A comprehensive measles vaccination campaign in the area targeted over four million children between 6 months and 10 years in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, beginning from January 13.
“As of 3 February, more than 2.8 million children had been vaccinated across accessible areas of Borno, representing 84 per cent of the targeted number for the state. Deworming medication and Vitamin A supplements are incorporated in the vaccination programme.”
Nigeria received 22%, the highest, of the $100 million released in January to intervene in nine most neglected crises globally from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, with humanitarian partners prioritising food and nutrition, health, shelter, and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) assistance across Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
The report also noted that “the security situation in the north-east remains volatile owing to the ongoing Boko Haram attacks and military counter-offensives. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence and insecurity that also hamper humanitarian access. Outside Maiduguri area, humanitarian organizations are operating in a very insecure environment, necessitating sometimes the use of bullet-proof vehicles to access remote localities.
“While we take staff safety and security very seriously, the total cost of security measures is less than 1 per cent of the entire humanitarian appeal,” the report added.