…FG to reach 5.8 million people in 2020
By Victoria Ojeme and Fortune Eromosele
European Union commissioner for Crisis management has announced a first emergency aid package of 26.5 million euros for 2020 while visiting north-east, Nigeria.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, European commissioner for crisis management, Janez Lenarcic said the EU’s new aid package will provide food aid, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, shelter, basic primary healthcare and education for children caught up in this conflict.
However, Lenarcic added that the EU is one of the leading donors of humanitarian and development aid in Nigeria with more than 830 million Euros provided since 2014.
Speaking in north-east Nigeria, an area devastated by the violence of armed groups, Lenarcic said: “I saw first-hand today the suffering that conflict has brought to people’s lives and how crucial humanitarian aid is to people’s survival.
What matters most is that humanitarian organizations can reach all the people in need, without restrictions, including in areas under the influence of non-state armed groups.”
“It is vital that all states and parties to armed conflicts respect their obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief. It is also key to implement in parallel a comprehensive strategy in the region, exploring political tracks while addressing the root cause of conflicts.”
He lamented that the decade long armed group insurgency in the North-East of Nigeria continues to uproot civilians and deepen humanitarian needs.
“The conflict limits people’s access to food, basic services and livelihood opportunities. Close to 2 million people have fled their homes in search of safety, 7.7 million people need humanitarian assistance and close to 3 million people are suffering from food shortages. Furthermore, 1.2 million people in need remain cut off from humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach areas.”
Commissioner Lenarcic is also meeting several high-level government authorities in Nigeria to present the strong commitment of the incoming European Commission toward Africa, to discuss joint Nigerian and EU priorities for the next few years and the situation in the North-east of the country.
Speaking also, Mr Edward Kallon, Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria said with the overcoming challenges of afflicted people by insurgents in Nigeria, together we were able to support over 5.6 million people with emergency assistance in 2019 and also to respond to rising needs, we now aim to reach 5.8 million people in 2020.
He maintained that the current situation demands increased collaboration among all actors and stakeholders to prevent the crisis from spiralling to levels seen three years ago. “Progress made in terms of resilience, recovery and joint humanitarian and development initiatives cannot be jeopardized”. He stated.
“Together, today, we call on all actors and stakeholders to strengthen their efforts to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis and do their utmost to guarantee the protection of civilians and aid workers, safe and unconditional access to the people in need. “