Aid reaches thousands affected by Boko Haram violence in northern Nigeria
July 25, Geneva: In a cross-border humanitarian operation, a total of 31 metric tonnes of food and some non-food items have been distributed to about 15,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Banki, located in Nigeria's restive Borno state, near the border with Cameroon, the United Nations relief wing has announced.
The cross-border operation, undertaken with close coordination between the humanitarian country teams in Nigeria and Cameroon, was necessary as there was no access from Maiduguri, the humanitarian hub in Nigeria, Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told journalists at the regular bi-weekly press briefing in Geneva.
“The roads from Maiduguri to Banki were unsafe,” noted Mr. Laerke. “[Ensuring] regular and frequent support to those IDPs […] would only be possible with increased security in the area,” he added.
The food delivered yesterday is expected to last less than a week.
Given the lack of civilian authorities in the area and problems with access, it is difficult to ascertain the actual number of people affected. According to best estimates, the IDPs number between 15,000 and 20,000, he said.
Mr. Laerke said that the Nigerian army, in control of Banki as there are no civil authorities left, had earlier shared some of its own rations with the IDPs, but these were far from sufficient.
The aid convoy complemented another intervention in the field nutrition and health by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
The Oslo Times International News Network