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UN reaffirms support for Nigeria’s anti-insurgency campaign

The UN on Saturday reaffirmed its commitment to support the Federal government’s counter-terrorism efforts in the North-East regionot.

The UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Peter Lundberg, said this at a press conference on Saturday in Maiduguri.

Lundberg said the UN would continue to support Nigeria to address the major problems affecting education, health, malnutrition and security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

He said the raid conducted by the military on UN Humanitarian facility in Maiduguri would not affect its relations with Nigeria, adding that the issue had been amicably resolved.

“I am very pleased to inform you that our relationship of collaboration and trust is intact, and at this stage we are focused on the work ahead, to ensure that the millions of vulnerable people in the North-East are supported with life saving humanitarian aid.

“I reiterated that we are here in support of the government of Nigeria; the UN agencies and over 60 development organisations working to provide the much needed food, shelter, safe water, latrines and medicines,” Lundberg said.

Lundberg announced that the UN had resumed its services, after it was temporarily suspended following a raid by the military on its office.

He explained the UN humanitarian services were facing serious challenges due to security threats posed by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The UN official added that humanitarian services were impeded or restricted to thousands of people in the affected areas due to various challenges.

“The rainy season is also creating challenges to humanitarian access in some areas in the region.”

He said the UN estimated that about 8.5 million people were in dire need of humanitarian assistance in the North-East and Lake Chad region.

He said that the UN has targeted 6.9 million people for distribution of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

Lundberg disclosed that the Agency was providing food assistance to 1.3 million people in the affected states.

“The UN and its partners are currently providing food to about 1.3 million every month, about 1.2 million of them have also received seeds, tools and fertilisers for this cropping season,” he added.

Lundberg called on the stakeholders to support the UN in providing unhindered access for humanitarian assistance in the affected areas.

Also commenting, Gov. Kashim Shettima, reiterated the state government’s commitment to collaborating with the UN to address the humanitarian crisis in the state.

Shettima assured of the government readiness to support the UN programmes, protect and safeguard its personnel.

The governor commended the UN over its support to Nigeria to end insurgency and address humanitarian crisis.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Army on Friday raided the UN Humanitarian facility in Maiduguri,

The military said in a statement that it conducted a condon- operation in search of profiled Boko Haram insurgents.

No arrest was made in the exercise, which resulted to high tension in the state capital.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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