LAGOS: THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said there was an urgent need to provide food and other basic commodities to scores of terror victims that have fled to neighbouring Niger.
Over the last three months, more than 25 000 people including residents, displaced people and returnees have received assistance from the ICRC, working together with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, bringing to nearly 45 000 the number of recipients of food aid in 2014, ICRS said.
Some 10 800 people also received essential household items including blankets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, mats, clothes and kitchen utensils.
“In addition to caring for the weapon-wounded, we need urgently to provide food, drinking water and basic household items to the thousands of people – mostly women and children – who continue to flee the violence,” said Loukas Petridis, head of the ICRC delegation in Niger in a statement made available to this publication.
According to ICRC violence and conflict in north-eastern Nigeria, blamed on the Boko Haram sect, continue to affect both local residents and displaced people in Niger’s far south-eastern Diffa region.
Fighting just a few kilometres from the border has again forced thousands of people to flee and seek refuge in Diffa, where they are living in very difficult conditions.
“Unlike previous waves of displaced, those arriving today seem determined to stay longer in Niger,” said Yssouf Koné, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Diffa.
“This situation is preoccupying: the lasting presence of displaced people increases the pressure on host communities and resources in a region already asphyxiated by the drastic slowdown in trade with Nigeria and by a very poor agricultural and pastoral season.”
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY