The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has promised to donate food items worth 10 million US dollars to support the Federal Government’s efforts at addressing the humanitarian crisis in the Northeast.
Bashir Garga, the Northeast Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, made this known in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri on Monday.
Mr Garga said that the gesture was particularly aimed at addressing the food crisis and resultant malnutrition caused by the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
“The Saudi authorities, under the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Aid Organisation promised to assist the Federal Government of Nigeria concerning the humanitarian crisis bedevilling the Northeast.
“They’ve promised food items worth 10 million US dollars; they are here in the state; they’ve visited two camps to sample opinions and develop their food basket in line with global standard practices.
“Thereafter, they will come and make sure that the food items are purchased and packaged in Nigeria and then given to Internally Displaced Persons.”
Meanwhile, Mr Garga disclosed that the agency had taken delivery of 70 percent of the 6,000 tonnes of rice donated by the Peoples Republic of China.
According to him, the consignment consists of 50 kilogram bags of rice to be distributed to affected families in the region.
He said that the agency had taken proactive steps toward addressing gaps in humanitarian services that might have been experienced due to the humanitarian actors’ suspension of such services in liberated communities.
Mr Garga also said that the agency in collaboration with the Borno State Emergency Management Agency, the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative, and the Victims Support Fund would implement measures to fill the gaps.
“The humanitarian actors have threatened to suspend their services, but we are prepared to ensure that the displaced persons are not exposed to more hardship.”
It will be recalled that the United Nations and other humanitarian actors had threatened to withdraw their services following the March 1 attack on the community by the insurgents.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs declared that three aid workers were killed, one injured, and a female nurse missing.