Saturday, April 2, 2016 4:34 pm
The United Nations says it will relocate its humanitarian coordination centre to Maiduguri to enable it respond effectively to the humanitarian crisis created by Boko Haram insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms Fatma Samoura, stated this at the end of her humanitarian situation assessment visit to Borno state on Saturday.
According to her, the move would also enable them have direct access to affected areas.
Samoura told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the relocation from Abuja to Maiduguri had become necessary considering the humanitarian situation at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and communities hosting them.
“I have decided that the centre of coordination be moved from Abuja to Maiduguri and UN senior staff will be deployed accordingly.
“In the weeks to come, seasoned and top-notch staff we will be deployed to really cater for the needs of the IDPs and the host communities.
“This is in order to scale-up support and enhance coordination of our humanitarian response in the light of the significant challenge that the crisis presents.
“This will also ensure that they are closer to the IDPs, emergency management bodies and the state authorities,” Samoura said.
She described the situations at the IDPs camps as “appalling”, noting that the UN would scale-up efforts towards ensuring that the affected persons got first hand attention.
According to her, the situation in Maiduguri is critical; there is the need for all development and humanitarian actors to scale-up their support to complement efforts of the Borno Government.
She said nearly 15 million civilians had been affected by the insurgency, resulting in over 2.2 million people being displaced with Borno most affected with two million IDPs.
Samoura, who is also the UN Development Programme Resident Representative, said close to two million people were still residing in host communities and their coping mechanisms had begun to be eroded.