Mark Lowcock, United Nations, UN, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, says UN and humanitarian partners have been providing critical and life-saving assistance to more than 3.8 million people in the Northeast Nigeria in 2019.
Mr Lowcock made this known in a statement issued by Eve Sabbagh, Head of Public Information, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN-OCHA, on Friday.
According to him, UN and humanitarian partners have supported the humanitarian response in northeast since the beginning of the crisis and have been operating in the most challenging circumstances.
“A total of 38 UN and NGO workers, most of them Nigerians, have been killed since 2011.
“Ten aid workers have died as a result of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and other non-state armed groups in the past 18 months.
“Six more are still missing.
“Over the past year, I have watched with growing concern the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Borno.
“Ten years of conflict and violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and other non-state armed groups have devastated communities.
“In my visits to Borno in September 2017 and October 2018, I met many of the ordinary people who have been the victims of this crisis.
“More than 7 million people currently need humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,” he said.
The Under-secretary-general said that concerted efforts by Nigerian authorities and others between 2016 and 2017 led them to regain control of areas previously ravaged by the insurgents.
He said that such efforts by government and other partners enabled more than two million displaced people to return home.
“But renewed violence, most of it perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents, has sparked an upsurge in forced displacement in Borno, with more than 140,000 people forced to move this year alone.
“Many farmers have missed multiple planting seasons and more than 3 million people are food-insecure,” he said.
He said that military and security measures against the insurgents were necessary and legitimate part of the steps taken by the Nigerian government.
Mr Lowcock, however, added that military action needed to be proportionate in order to avoid adding to the plight of civilians who had suffered terribly as a result of the actions of the terrorists and insurgents.
He urged the government to implement measures that would address the root causes of the crisis, reduce humanitarian suffering, and promote stabilisation, recovery, and development.
According to him, military action alone cannot solve the problem.