© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
900,000 Borno IDPs To Get Three Months UNICEF Relief Materials
By Samuel Malik
The icirnigeria.org has learnt that 880,000 Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Borno State, the worst-hit state in the seven-year of Boko Haram insurgency, are set to benefit from massive and critical relief materials worth N408 million for the next three months from the United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF.
A Boeing 747 cargo plane arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Sunday, September 11, with what UNICEF called lifesaving supplies meant for IDPs in the northeast.
The items are expected to be sent to Borno state.
UNICEF’s chief of communication in Abuja, Doune Porter, told the icirnigeria.org through email that the consignment was made up of 1,600 health kits and another 1,600 water, sanitation and hygiene, WASH, dignity kits.
The health kits, which will serve 800,000 people for three months, include drugs for the treatment of diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia; antenatal supplements, such as iron and folic acid, and medical supplies like bandages and latex gloves for primary health centres.
The WASH kits contain jerry cans, buckets and water purification tablets. There are also soap and menstrual hygiene products for women and adolescent girls. These are expected to benefit 80,000 for three months.
More than 20,000 people have been killed and two million displaced by the seven-year Boko Haram insurgency, leading to a complex and dire humanitarian crisis.
Over time, government has focused majorly on the provision of food items to the displaced persons, while nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, and private individuals provide non-food items like medicines, educational materials, water, etc.
“They will be sent to UNICEF hubs in Borno state before being distributed and will be tracked during the distribution.
In August, the World Food Programme, WFP, warned that more than five million people faced severe food shortages due to the current situation, including inflation.
While this unfolds, allegations have continued to surface of officials diverting relief materials from camps, forcing President Muhammadu Buhari to order the arrest of suspects.
Mindful of these allegations, the icirnigeria.org asked UNICEF how the items would be distributed, including whether they would be given directly to beneficiaries or through the state government.
Porter explains: “The distribution plans have not yet been finalized for the supplies – our health and WASH sections are working on that now so that the supplies can be used most efficiently.
“They will be sent to UNICEF hubs in Borno state before being distributed and will be tracked during the distribution. We are working closely with our government and other partners to ensure the supplies will be used where they are intended.”