Maiduguri – The Borno Government has renewed calls on the International Community and humanitarian organisations for help to avert food crisis in the state due to devastation caused by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The state Commissioner of Information, Dr Muhammad Bulama, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Thursday.
Bulama was reacting to a report credited to a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO),Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on a looming food crisis in the North-East due to the Boko Haram terrorism.
“It is true that we are facing food crisis because of the devastation suffered due to years of attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists.
“This is in spite of the numerous efforts by the state government to address the situation.
“It is also true that farming activities have not taken place in the last three years as towns, villages and communities have been destroyed by Boko Haram terrorists.
“But it does not mean that the state is not doing anything. We are doing our best, you know that at end of every month, government usually utilises its allocation of federal revenue on taking care of IDPs after paying workers salaries,’’ he said.
The commissioner described the situation in the state as grave.
“I want the world to understand that Nigeria has the third largest number of IDPs in the world after Iraq and Syria.
“But it is interesting to note that about 80 per cent of the IDPs in Nigeria are in Borno, that shows the scale of crisis in the state,” he said.
He said that the IDPs were not restricted to Displaced Persons camps alone.
“The IDPs are not just staying in the IDP camps alone, presently about 1.5 million IDPs are living with the host community in Maiduguri, the state government to a reasonable extent, is also taking care of them as well.
“Our resources are overstretched by this reality; we need help, we need assistance, we are calling on all men of goodwill, countries and the international community to scale up the assistance.
“It is not just the issue of food crisis, but we also need help in the eventual rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs back home.
“In fact things would have been worst if the humanitarian bodies like the Dangote Foundation and the World Food Programme had not provided assistance in terms of food supply to salvage the situation,” Bulama said