October 25, 2017

Northeast Crisis: ICRC assists in search of 11,600 separated family members

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was helping to search for 11,600 separated family members displaced by crisis in the northeast.

The information is in a document from the ICRC on facts and figures for the committee’s intervention activities for the period January to September 2017.

According to the document, the search is being conducted with the help of Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS).

The ICRC stated that communal clashes in the Middle Belt and urban violence in the Niger Delta had also led to forced displacement of people and disruption of health services.

It noted that “with the use of Red Cross messages and free phone calls, separated family members have been able to get back in touch with their displaced relatives.

“ICRC also worked with other Red Cross societies in the Lake Chad Region to locate and reunite families where possible.

“The committee and the NRCS were working to help meet basic needs of food, shelter, access to water and health services to people.

“The lack of food remained the most urgent humanitarian need; the situation of the most vulnerable such as children, women and the elderly, was of particular concern to us.

“The most vulnerable would remain dependent on aid for some time to come, as sustained food assistance was necessary to prevent them from malnutrition and even death.”

The committee further stated that both organisations aimed to meet the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations in hard-to-reach areas through the distribution of food and essential household items.

It said it had so far distributed food to about 400,000 people in the north-east and the Middle Belt regions and another 48,000 had received essential household items.

“Around 446,000 returnees and residents who had been isolated in conflict affected areas received agriculture inputs, including seeds, machinery and tools to start farming or to increase their crop production.”

It further added that no less than 80,000 received cash to cover their basic needs for starting an income generating activity.

In the area of health, it noted that 23 ICRC-supported centres for primary healthcare and three mobile clinics catered for about 405,000 patients. 

It added that first aid respondents were also trained in 15 states.

The UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs estimated that up to 2.1 million people fled their homes at the height of the conflict in the northeast.

Food insecurity reportedly remained a major concern, with 5.2 million people in the northeast said to be facing acute food shortage.

So far, 3.4 million of the targeted 5.1 million people were reached with food aid and support from local and global partners.