11 million Boko Haram survivors desperately need aids —UN envoy

No fewer than 11 million survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency are in desperate need of humanitarian aids.

Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Mr Toby Lanzer, said this while spotlighting the plight of millions in Africa’s Lake Chad Basin and calling for international solidarity with the people in urgent need.

Lanzer told correspondents at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York that the Boko Haram crisis created monumental destruction to the Lake Chad Basin countries which included Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

The UN emergency official regretted that the condition of the victims of the insurgents was dire, adding “I wish I had good news, but I don’t.

“About 11 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, 7.1 million of them are severely food insecure.

“To say “food insecure”, according to World Food Programme, means that they are living on the edge, surviving on, if they can, one meal a day,” he said.

Lanzer added that the situation of children was particularly worrying.

“Some 515,000 children are severely and acutely malnourished and their lives are at risk if aid does not reach them urgently.

“No government can do what it takes to confront these number of severe food insecurity.

“This is a clear case where international solidarity with the governments of the region is needed,” he stressed.

According to him, the Sahel region already had about 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Lanzer said improving security situation in the Lake Chad Basin region had revealed the depth of the humanitarian suffering of survivors of the destructive insurgent group.

“The scale of humanitarian suffering in the region has become increasingly evident with improving security situation as a result of the military campaign against Boko Haram.

“This has allowed humanitarian actors to reach many places which were impossible to get to earlier due to insecurity.”

Lanzer regretted that following the improved security situation, he personally saw communities that were destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency during the period it held sway.

He also lamented over a situation whereby some communities saw some age group completely wiped out, particularly the aged and infants, as a result of insurgency.

“We saw towns and villages that were totally destroyed; places completely cut off for over three years and devoid of two, three and four-year-olds because they have died,” Lanzer said.

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