EU steps up support for conflict victims in Nigeria

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The European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič on Friday announced a first emergency package of €26.5 million for conflict victims in north-east Nigeria.

Lenarčič announced this on Friday during a joint briefing between the EU and UN held at the EU commission in Abuja.

He said that the EU aid package would provide food aid, access to clean water, and sanitation facilities, shelter, basic primary healthcare, as well as education for children caught in the conflict.

He further said that the EU was prepared to deepen its partnership with Nigeria to find solutions conflict issues, adding that Europe and Nigeria shared common facts in the fight against terrorism.

“ I saw first-hand suffering that conflict has brought to people’s lives and how crucial humanitarian aid is to people’s survival.

“What matter most is that humanitarian organisations can reach all the people in need without restrictions, including in areas under the influence of non-state armed groups

“It is vital that all states and parties to armed conflicts respect their obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief.

“It is also key to implement in parallel a comprehensive strategy in the region, exploring political tracks while addressing the root causes of conflict,’’ he explained.

Also speaking, Mr Edward Kallon, Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria said that the commission was worried about the challenges faced by civilians and humanitarian aid worker as they had become direct targets of attacks.

“ In 2019 alone, 12 aid workers were deliberately and brutally murdered by a non-state armed group.

“Our ability to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of people affected by the crisis will depend on a secure environment for civilian and aid our workers,’’ he said.

He, therefore, called on stakeholders to strengthen efforts to provide life-saving assistance to people affected by the crisis and ensure the protection of both civilians and aid workers.

In her statement, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development confirmed that the EU and UN had been good partners to Nigeria.

She said that Nigeria recognised and appreciated their continuous support to conflict victims in the country.

She assured Nigerians, the EU, and the UN of the ministry’s continued support and the safety of humanitarian aid workers in areas of conflict.

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