The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has expressed concern over the conditions of more than 40,000 displaced persons affected by flood in Rann, Kalabalge Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno.
In a statement issued in Maiduguri on Saturday, OCHA said the affected persons including women and children lacked access to food and basic services due to floods which submerged Rann, Kalabalge LGA headquarters, and its environs on Nov. 7.
OCHA attributed the flood to the release of excess water from Kaalia River, neighbouring Cameroon, in the statement signed by its Head of Communication Eve Sabbagh.
It said that the flood damaged an estimated 4, 000 hectares of farmlands and destroyed crops, which Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Rann mainly depended on for food.
The UN agency lamented that the area was difficult to access for humanitarian assistance due to the high level of insecurity and dilapidated road.
“Stranded populations are running short of food and those who can afford it are paying high sums to be transported to the other areas, putting their lives at risks while crossing the river or running for safety.
“More than 300 people from Rann have managed to reach Ngala, a town some 40 kilometers away from the area, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), they managed to leave Rann before the road became impassable.
“Humanitarian partners are mobilising resources to reach the stranded population via the UN Humanitarian Air Services, until access is secured for small boats.
“Providing food is the main priority, along with water, shelters and emergency health services,” OCHA said in the statement.
The UN agency revealed further that more than 100, 000 people were also affected by severe floods in seven local government areas of Adamawa since Oct. 27, occasioned by torrential rainfall and overflow of water from rivers Niger and Benue.
It explained that the flood caused displacement to about 19, 000 people, adding that government had set up nine IDP camps, to facilitate effective response to affected persons.
It also said that the UN and humanitarian partners had scaled up assistance in Adamawa and provided reproductive health kits to more than 56, 000 people, 400 families received non-food items and 4, 000 other families got farming inputs.
According to the UN agency, also more than 300, 000 persons are affected in Adamawa and Borno in the worst flood disaster since 2012.
OCHA noted that the damage was five-times higher than expected in the humanitarian contingency plan, which was based on an average from previous floods.
“The latest flood is coming at a time when the rainy season would usually be over, compounding an already dire humanitarian situation in two of the three states most affected by the 10-year old conflict, with 7.1 million people in need of urgent assistance this year.
“The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria is seeking 848 million dollars to assist 6.2 million people and is 60 per cent funded so far,” OCHA added.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Nyisom Fiyigon Dorehttps://nnn.ng/40-000-persons-displaced-by-floods-in-borno-un/
S/Africa seeks continent’s permanent representation at UN Security Council – Ramaphosa
South Africa advocates for the continent to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.
Ramaphosa said this ahead of his address for the high-level week of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.
The 75th session of the General Assembly opened on Sept. 15. The high-level week will run from Monday until Sept. 29.
“We … need to strengthen bodies like the UN, ensure they are properly resourced and that they are representative.
“We must use this 75th anniversary to push ahead with the reform of the UN and particularly its Security Council, which does not give equal voice to the different regions of the world.
As South Africa, we will use our virtual presence in New York to continue to advocate for Africa – a continent of more than a billion people – to have permanent representation on the UN Security Council,” the statement read.
Earlier this year, a similar idea was voiced by Cairo.
In particular, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry proposed that two permanent seats be allocated to the African continent in the UN Security Council with full powers, including veto, following its reformation.
So far, there are five permanent members at the UN Security Council that have the right to veto — China, Russia, the United States, France and the UK.
The other 10 members of the UN body are non-permanent and elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
South Africa was elected as a non-permanent member for 2019 to 2020.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Sadiya Hamza
Norwegian survey shows 77% displaced people have lost jobs, income due to COVID-19
A survey by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) on Monday shows that 77 per cent of people displaced by conflicts have lost a job or revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jan Egeland, the Secretary-General of the NRC, said this in a statement.
A record 79.5 million people worldwide, or 1 per cent of humanity, were displaced at the end of 2019 after fleeing wars or persecution, according to the UN.
The NRC, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), polled 1,431 refugees and internally displaced people across 14 countries including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Kenya Libya, Mali, Uganda and Venezuela.
Some 70 per cent of those surveyed said they had to cut the number of meals for their households and 73 per cent said they were less likely to send their children to school due to economic problems.
“The price of food has doubled. We have to collect scraps to feed our children,” said Shayista Gul, 60, who lives in a two-room makeshift home together with 15 others outside Kabul in Afghanistan.
“If the coronavirus does not kill us, hunger definitely will,” she is quoted as saying by the NRC in its report.
The pandemic has led to an economic downturn affecting the most vulnerable populations, including refugees and internally displaced people, pushing them into a “dangerous downward spiral”, the NRC said.
“Already forced from their homes by violence, often with limited rights to work or access to government services, the economic impact of the pandemic is pushing them to catastrophe,” Egeland said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
Pakistan resumes polio vaccination drive after hiatus due to pandemic
Tens of thousands of health workers across Pakistan started the first polio vaccination drive in several months, amid a continuing fall in coronavirus cases, officials said on Monday.
Around 40 million children are to be vaccinated for the crippling disease, which has been eradicated around the world aside from in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where it remains prevalent.
The drive, which is part of a UN-funded campaign, is due to run for a week and targets all children under the age of five, said Safdar Rana, the doctor who heads Pakistan’s anti-polio programme.
Healthcare workers administering the vaccine are to be guarded by thousands of police and troops in regions where they are routinely attacked by militants.
Pakistan launched a polio vaccine drive nationwide in February and had planned further campaigns during the year, after a warning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of the risk of a new epidemic.
But the campaign was suspended for several months due to the novel coronavirus. The number of polio cases has risen steeply during that time.
“We will have to move swiftly to cover the backlog,” Rana said in a video statement.
So far this year, 73 children have been infected with polio in Pakistan, according to official statistics. There were 147 cases in 2019.
After peaking at 306 in 2014, polio cases had fallen to a single-digit figure in 2017, before rising again in recent years.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed
UN to mark 75th anniversary with largely online event
The UN is to mark the 75th anniversary of its founding amid the ruins of World War II with a largely online event on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has said.
Guterres is expected to deliver in-person, remarks in the gilded General Assembly Hall, while world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will deliver pre-recorded video speeches.
“It’s very unfortunate but its going to be a pretty gloomy birthday celebration for the UN,” UN expert Richard Gowan from the think tank Crisis Group said.
Leaders are set to adopt a declaration agreed on in July, committing to a reinvigorated multilateralism.
Gowan described the declaration as a “perfectly fine but pretty anodyne statement of support for UN principles, weakened by the fact that the United States did not want strong language on climate change.”
The commemoration comes at a time when the world body faces questions over whether it is still fit for purpose in a more multipolar world, and whether it can muster consensus to deal with current conflicts and challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.
“In this 75th anniversary year, we face our own 1945 moment. We must meet that moment; we must show unity like never before to overcome today’s emergency,” Guterres told a news conference last week.
A day after the event, the UN’s annual general debate kicks off, with leaders also sending in video speeches due to the pandemic.
Trump, who had expressed interest in being the only head of state to address the General Assembly live, is now said not to be heading to the UN’s New York headquarters.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ejike Obeta