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7,000 IDPs Sleeping Outside In Borno Camp – UN

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BY FRANCIS OKOYE, Maiduguri

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon has said that out of 38,000 internally Displaced Persons ( IDPs ) in Bama camp,of Borno State, 7000 are sleeping in open space for lack of shelter.

Mr Kallon disclosed this yesterday at a joint press briefing with the deputy governor of the state, Usman Khadafu and the leadership of the private sector initiative led by Mrs Ibukun Awosika ( Chairperson of First Bank ), after their tour of some IDPs camps in Maiduguri.

He said the situation of the IDPs is not acceptable considering that there is little intervention for their wellbeing.

Kallon said “: Yesterday I flew in to Bama and out of the 38, 000 IDPs in the camps , 7000 are sleeping outside.  This is not acceptable.  The services we are providing is not optimum.  We can do better than what we are doing”.

“ And this is the reason for the kind of partnership we are looking for, bringing UN and the private sector to interface with government so that we can address challenges facing the displaced persons,” he added.

He said the UN / private sector Initiative is not in anyway duplicating the functions of the newly established Northeast Development Commission (NEDC ) but foistering partnership with the state authority and NEDC .

Kallon said:” As members of the steering committee of the private sector initiative has said, the $80 million being mobilized will be used into humanitarian needs and those needs include water, sanitation , health, protection, shelter, education and among others.

“We are clear in mind that the material needs are critical . We are also clear in mind that the root causes of this crisis are environmental and we are also clear in mind that the only solution to this crisis is peace. So we are looking for efforts at peace building to find a solution to crisis. “

The leader of the private sector Initiative team who is also the Chairperson of First Bank Of Nigeria ( FBN ) , Mrs  Ibukun  Awosika , said the goal of the private sector is to get every Nigerian to be involved in the financing of the project, adding that they are the second team of private sector initiative that visited Borno state.

Awosika who led some partners in the leading Nigerian companies from the banking, energy and legal sectors, described the initiative as the first-ever joint humanitarian fund in which the private sector is partnering with the UN and Nigerian business leaders to raise fund for rebuilding of Northeast.

She said that the joint initiative seeks to harness the financial resources and expertise of Nigeria’s private sector to contribute to a more effective and timely humanitarian response in Northeast.

Responding, the deputy governor of Borno state, Usman Khadafu welcomed them and thanked UN in particular for coordinating and bringing in private sector to address the humanitarian crisis in Borno state.

The deputy governor added that the state government is committed towards the provision of security for citizens, noting that without peace nothing can be achieved.

“I want to thank the private sector for giving back to the society, especially where they will not ever benefit from.  I want to also state that the Borno state government will create enabling environment for development partners to operate and also ensure that whatever that is meant for our people will be judiciously used,” Khadafu said.

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