As the world marks World Humanitarian Day, the Nigeria INGO Forum pays tribute to the humanitarian workers, national civil society, private sector, and other members of the humanitarian community dealing with the crisis in North East Nigeria. The humanitarian community has in the course of 2017 delivered assistance to over 1.8 million Nigerians displaced by the conflict, among whom over half are children.
The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North-East and the Lake Chad region remains one of the most severe in the world today, with 8.5m people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and 6.9 million targeted for humanitarian assistance. The INGO Forum in marking this years’ World Humanitarian Day is focusing on the protection of civilians in conflict, particularly prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation, displacement and the dangers faced by humanitarian aid workers.
In North East Nigeria, women and children continue to suffer alarming cases of sexual abuse and exploitation, countless women and girls have been abducted and the number of girls used as suicide bombers has been on the increase.
The verifiable accounts of uninformed and involuntary displacement and relocation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within North-East Nigeria, and refugees across the border from Cameroon continue to hamper effective planning and delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need. Planning for, and actual returns continue to take place without adequate provisions for those who return, or lack of clear communication to the agencies involved in providing critical assistance to the displaced in areas of return.
The INGO Forum uses this occasion to remember the tragic accident that led to the death and injury of civilians and aid workers in a bombing of a camp by the Nigerian military on 17 January 2017 in Rann, Kala/Balge Local Government Area, a newly accessible area in North-East Nigeria. Such event, along with other access challenges faced by the humanitarian community highlights the very real danger of providing assistance in a conflict-affected area.
Members of the Nigeria INGO Forum remain committed to supporting humanitarian efforts in North-Eastern Nigeria by providing urgently needed food, water, shelter and medical care as well as addressing protection issues of the affected population.