Connect with us

World News

UNICEF says 1.9m people displaced in N/East



UNICEF says 1.9m people displaced in N/East

…As WFP warns 40m people face ‘desperate food shortages’ in W/Africa***

The United Nations report has shown that there are 1.9 million people displaced currently from their homes in North-East, Nigeria.

The Communications Specialist, UNICEF Nigeria, Mr Geoffrey Njoku, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday.

The UN report warned that internally-displaced children in Nigeria were among the world’s most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said that the warning came, as the organisation released a report looking at the risks and challenges facing internally- displaced children, and the urgent actions needed to protect them.

“In North-East, Nigeria, there are currently 1.9 million people displaced from their homes. Sixty percent of them are children, with one in four under the age of five,” it said.

The report stated that globally, an estimated 19 million children, more than ever before, were living in displacement within their own countries, due to conflict and violence in 2019.

“’Lost at Home’ looks at the risks and challenges internally- displaced children face and the urgent actions needed to protect them,” it said.

It said that as COVID-19 continued to spread around the world, the internally- displaced children were among the most vulnerable to its direct and indirect impacts.

“Hundreds of thousands of children in North-East, Nigeria, are living in the shadow of conflict and now in the increasingly-challenging shadow of a global pandemic and its potential socio-economic aftermath.

“When a new crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic emerges, displaced children are especially vulnerable and the gaps in our ability to keep them safe are even starker.

“We must urgently work together; all of us, government and humanitarian partners, to keep them safe, healthy, learning and protected,” it said.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic is making a critical situation for displaced children and families around the world even worse.

It said that they often lived in overcrowded camps or informal settlements, where access to basic hygiene and health services was limited, and where physical distancing was not possible.

“This is true in Nigeria’s North-East, where conditions pose a particular challenge to containing the possible spread of diseases like COVID-19.

“Internally-displaced children around the world often lack access to basic services and are at risk of exposure to violence, exploitation, abuse and trafficking,” according to the report.

It said that they were also at risk of child labour, child marriage and family separation, all of which posed direct threats to their health and safety.

According to the report, there are 12 million new displacements of children in 2019, with 3.8 million of them caused by conflict and violence and 8.2 million by disasters linked mostly to weather-related events, like flooding and storms.

It said that UNICEF and its partners were working to protect displaced children in the North-East through critical health and nutrition services.

Also read:  China’s coronavirus cover-up and the implications for Israel

Others, it said, were provision of access to life-saving WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services through accelerated construction of facilities, and adapted solutions to continuing education, including provision of radio for distance learning, while schools were closed.

“What we really need now are strategic investments and united efforts by government, civil society organisations, private sector, humanitarian actors and the children themselves, to find solutions to the effects of displacement, especially as we face the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The efforts must also address and help mitigate the long term impacts this can have on children’s health and education,” it said.

In another development, the World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that no fewer than 40 million people across West Africa face “desperate food shortages in coming months”.

Its spokesperson, Ms Elisabeth Byrs, gave the warning during a virtual news briefing on Tuesday.

Byrs said restrictions imposed by countries to curb the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were adding to people’s vulnerability to hunger.

She stated that populations displaced by armed conflict, and those that had endured climate change emergencies were at higher risks of exposure.

To avert the looming hunger crisis, the WFP spokesperson appealed for continued support from the international community for the agency’s global aid effort.

WFP, a United Nations agency, had earlier issued a similar warning about a “potentially massive spike in global food insecurity in East Africa” due to the pandemic.

“We must sustain our assistance across the region, especially in places such as Central Sahel, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Cameroon.

“An estimated 12 million children under five years old can be acutely malnourished in the lean season from June to August, up from 8.2 million in the same period last year.

“During the lean season in June and August, more than 21 million people across West Africa will struggle to feed themselves,” Byrs warned.

She said the Gambia and Republic of Benin were among the countries in need of intervention.

According to her, another 20 million people can struggle to feed themselves due to the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the next six months.

This, the official noted, would double the number of food-insecure populations to 43 million in the region.

President of the UN General Assembly, Amb. Tijani Muhammad-Bande, raised this concern during a virtual high-level meeting of the Heads of States and Governments of the Non-Aligned Movement on Monday.

Emphasising that many people around the world depended on agriculture for food and income, he urged the leaders to recommit to ending hunger and poverty.

Muhammad-Bande, who is Nigeria’s ambassador to the UN, warned against disruptions in food production and supply.

“We must do our best to ensure that agricultural workers are able to function with minimal disruption.

“I urge Your Excellencies to ensure increased investment in inclusive and resilient food systems that reflect our new reality and position us to better tackle the challenges they present.

“As we contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must re-commit to ending hunger and poverty,” he said.

The WFP spokesperson said the agency’s priority remained the most vulnerable individuals, including the urban poor living from “hand-to-mouth”.

Byrs underscored how COVID-19 travel restrictions had compromised the transport of supplies and the functioning of open-air markets that served most people, resulting in price increases in some countries.

WFP said in a statement that movement restrictions could also affect farmers as the planting season approached.

It warned that “an inadequate response” to current needs would put the future well-being of millions of people in the region at stake, particularly women and young children.

The agency said it could also lead to civil unrest in parts of the region already challenged by insecurity and violent extremism.

WFP said it was aiming to overcome the challenges in partnership with the authorities.


Latest News

Russia writes off $23bn debt for Africa – Putin



Russia sends almost 12m tons of grain to Africa says Putin

…Pledges additional $90 million***

Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, says the Russian Government has written off $23 billion debt burden of African countries.

Putin spoke at the plenary session of the ongoing second Russia–Africa Summit 2023 held from July 27 to July 28.

He said Moscow would allocate an additional $90 million for these purposes.

Putin said Russia was advocating the expansion of representation of African countries in the UN Security Council and other UN structures.

“Russia and Africa strive to develop cooperation in all areas and strengthen ‘honest, open, constructive’ partnership.

“Russia will also assist in opening new African embassies and consulates in Russia,” he said.

According to him, the reopening of embassies in Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea is going as planned.

He said sovereignty was “not a one-time achieved state,” and it must be constantly protected.

Putin also offered assistance to Africa in countering threats such as terrorism, piracy, and transnational crimes adding that it would continue to train personnel from African countries.

He assured that Russian businesses have a lot to offer partners from Africa.

Putin said transition to national currencies and the establishment of transport and logistics chains would contribute to the increase in mutual trade turnover.

“Russia is ready to provide trade preferences to Africa, support the creation of modern production sectors, agricultural sector, and provide assistance through relevant international structures and agencies.

“Russia will always be a responsible international supplier of agricultural products,” he said.

Continue Reading

Latest News

U.S. Coastguard Finds ‘debris field’ Near Missing Vessel



A “debris field” has been discovered within the search area for the missing Titan submersible, the U.S. Coastguard (USCG) said on Thursday.

The agency said a remotely-operated vehicle made the discovery near the wreckage of the Titanic on Thursday.

The hunt for the missing deep-sea vessel is still an “active search and rescue” mission after it lost communication on Sunday.

The vessel was about 700 kilometres south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

Coastguard officials said they were “evaluating the information” following Thursday’s debris discovery.

A press conference will be held at the Coastguard base in Boston to “discuss the findings” at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Rear Admiral John Mauger, the first Coastguard district commander, and Captain Jamie Frederick, first Coastguard district response coordinator, will lead the press conference.

Founding member of the Board of Trustees of The Explorers Club, Hamish Harding, was on board the undersea craft, alongside UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, as well as French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The USCG said the ROV that made the discovery was from the Canadian Horizon Arctic ship – with the debris being found on the sea floor near the Titanic wreckage.

Assistance from the Royal Air Force (RAF) is due to arrive in St John’s on Thursday after it confirmed a request was received overnight for help with the movement of additional commercial equipment.

Two RAF planes, a C-17 Globemaster and A400 Atlas, departed RAF Lossiemouth in north-east Scotland on Thursday.

A British submariner and equipment from a UK firm have been sent to help the search at the request of the U.S. Coastguard, Downing Street said.

Royal Navy submariner Lieutenant Commander Richard Kantharia, who was on exchange with the U.S. Navy, has been seconded to the search and rescue team.

OceanGate Expeditions estimated the oxygen supply on the 6.7 metre-long vessel would last 96 hours, giving rescuers a deadline of around midday on Thursday.

Experts said the chances of finding the sub and rescuing those inside were diminishing.

Former Royal Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the PA news agency: “The outlook is bleak, that’s the only word for it as this tragic event unfolds and almost the closing stages of where this changes from rescue to a salvage mission.”

The Titan is believed to be about 900 miles east and 400 miles south of Newfoundland.

It is not known how deep the vessel is, with the seabed being around 3,800 metres from the surface. 

– dpa

Continue Reading


Customs Intercepts 414 Sacks Of Donkey Skin, Contraband worth N71.2m



The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Kebbi Command, says it has intercepted a truck loaded with 414 sacks of donkey meat and skins along the Bunza-Kamba axis of the state.

Dr Ben Oramalugo, the Customs Area Controller, made this known while briefing newsmen on the command’s activities, in Birnin Kebbi on Friday.

He said that the seizure of the donkey skin and meat was among the 17 smuggled items intercepted by the command between April 15 and May 15.

“Notably, on Sunday, May 14, following an intelligence report on prohibited items about to be smuggled out of the country through Bunza down to Maje axis, we detailed our officers to increase surveillance along the said routes.

“And through stop-and-search, the officers were able to intercept a truck loaded with 414 sacks of donkey skin and meat along Bunza-Kamba Axis.”

He added that among other items seized were two Toyota Camry 2013 and two Honda Jazz 2005.

Others are, 55 bales of secondhand clothes, 4,925 liters of PMS, 13 bags of foreign parboiled rice, five kegs of vegetable oil, a Volvo truck and one Toyota Corolla used for smuggling items, among others.

“The Duty Paid Value of the seized items is N71.2 million.

“All these successes have been achieved through constant vigilance and intelligence gathering by the officers and men of the command,” he said.

Oramalugo also revealed that the command was able to generate N127.3 million in the month of April.

“This is as a result of the efforts we put in place through routine stakeholders’ engagements and applying advice received from community leaders and indigenous retired and serving security personnel, among others.”

Oramalugo commended patriotic citizens, eminent personalities, host communities, and other stakeholders for providing useful information and advice.

“We appreciate our sister agencies for their prompt intervention when we seek reinforcement,” the controller said.

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick