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Internally displaced women and children sit waiting to be served with food at Dikwa Camp, in Borno State, north-east Nigeria. (AFP/File)

Agency report

At least 30,000 metric tonnes of food is required to feed internally displaced persons in Nigeria’s north-east region, says a UN official.

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Mohamed Safieldin, the immediate past UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, told the New York correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the monthly requirement was currently not being met.

“The available humanitarian aid at the moment is inadequate. Whether it is the aid coming from the government or aid coming from the international community. It is inadequate.

“Many people either don’t have any food or they have less than what is sufficient for one meal a day. We are talking of at least 1.8 million displaced people.

“To feed these people, you need an estimated 30,000 metric tonnes of food every month.  And this amount of food is not available from the government and it is not available from the international community.”

According to him, the liberation of more communities from Boko Haram has significantly increased the number of people to feed.

Safieldin further said at least 800,000 people currently need urgent humanitarian assistance.

“Since March, the Federal Government and Nigerian Army have gained full control of at least 16 LGAs in the Northeast. Many cities and villages have become accessible.

“Many civilians have been relocated by the army from remote villages to the capital of the LGAs. And 16 satellite camps have been established.

“There is a minimum of 300,000 civilians living in these satellite camps in addition to an estimated 500,000 people who are living in these liberated areas outside the satellite camps.

“So all together, we are talking of about 800,000 people at least, who are accessible, who need humanitarian assistance urgently because I have visited many of these places.”

He then decried the level of destruction caused by the Boko Haram insurgency, saying there is real humanitarian crisis in the liberated areas.

“You can’t imagine the level of physical destruction of all the basic facilities such as hospitals, water supply system, the schools and the homes of the individual poor people.”

He said IDPs living in formal camps in Maiduguri represented only 10 per cent of the population adding, 90 per cent of them live in host communities.