The United Nations has promised that it will do more for the Internally Displaced Persons in North Eastern Nigeria following the unfortunate accidental airstrike by a Nigerian Air Force Jet fighter that led to the death of over 200 people.
Toby Lanzer, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, made this known in an interview in New York, USA.
“I’m hopeful that 2017 will be a brighter year for the millions of people across the Northeast of Nigeria who have been affected by this terrible crisis,” Lanzer said.
“I think there is some good news on the horizon; we will be having this very important conference which is co-organised by Nigeria, Norway and Germany with the support of the United Nations.
“We will be doing that in Oslo on February 24.
Lanzer, who is also an assistant UN Secretary General said that more IDPs would get aid in the next few months, adding that the aids will not be just mere handouts.
He said: “What will happen over the next few months is that I expect the aid operations to commence.
“The aid operations will reach out to more people in more places, not only with handouts; that is not what the Nigerian people want.
“They also want something that gives them a lift and in that regard, we would do our utmost.
“We will help farmers who are looking forward to the next planting season and who want to take advantage of areas which have now become secured,” he said.
Lanzer said that if there was any good side to the unfortunate Rann IDP bombing, it is that aid workers were galvanized to do more for the people.
“The airstrike ‘galvanised’ us,” he said, “and I know that that sounds a bit of a paradox.”
“But you know within a matter of minutes that we realised what had happened, we rolled off the shock and we had people on the ground who were there to help.”
The UN chief eulogized residents of the community for their “professionalism” in responding rapidly to the situation.
“The first responders, and I really want to underline, the first responders in this incident as is so often the case, are the communities themselves.
“It’s the brothers and sisters of the IDPs, the villages nearby who went to help.
“Many of the most severely injured were taken to other places in Nigeria such as Maiduguri and taken care of by different aid organisations.
“It was a tremendous signal of professionalism by the local community and by the local aid workers and international aid workers who are close by,” he said.
Lanzer also praised President Muhammadu Buhari for quickly speaking “publicly” about the incident.
He described the people affected by the Boko Haram insurgency as “survivors” adding that he has huge admiration for them.
“What I have for the IDPs is admiration,” the UN chief said.
“I admire people who have survived such terrible times, such convergence of poverty, of climate change and of violent extremism.
“I admire people who, through thick and thin, have not been ‘victims’ but ‘survivors’.
“They deserve all of our admiration and all of our support,” he concluded.