Unicef VISITS IDPs CAMPS IN MAIDUGURI -Nigeria
Unicef – The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is a United Nations programme headquartered in New York City that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It has pledged to support the provision of basic life need to the IDPs in Borno state. Muna Garage camp in Maiduguri is a home to an estimated 20,000 people; 8,000 of those are children under the age of 5 because of the Boko Haram-related crisis, 14 million people across the northeast of Nigeria are in desperate need of assistance. More than half are children. In Borno state alone, there are more than 1.4 million displaced people. The majority live in host communities but around a quarter of a million people live in camps for IDPs – Internally Displaced People.This agency had conducted a joint water sanitation and health,WASH assessment to identify the needs and gaps in the camps and it found out that each person in the camp was only entitled to 8 litres of water per day which is below expectation. Also, Unicef had developed referral pathways within the state and ensuring that the list of centres for health facilities was provided in camp clinics in case of children with severe emergency situation. To relieve the camp off the burden of poor sanitation and access to portable water, Unicef provided fuel for the existing motorised water supply system accessed by 5,000 IDPs. It also distributed 1,800 dignity kits to households in the camp.
Similarly, education was another focus of Unicef, it assisted the camps with temporary learning tents and other materials that will accord the children a friendly environment. It also went ahead to reach out to 3,753 children with psycho-social defects who need support activities which was carefully carried out by 60 trained community volunteers.
Recently, Unicef visited the IDPs camps in Maiduguri. The deputy Executive Director, Omar Abdi explained that after their tour around the camps, they discovered that 50,000 children are malnourished. Mr. Abdi who led a team of Unicef officials from the offices in New York, Dakar and Abuja dare to undertake an on-the-spot needs assessment on the affected population.
The Unicef team had previously started a project on education but yet not satisfied with the teaching and learning process and environment. Its concern for the usage of clean water was also reitorated in order for the children to be immune to some diseases. According to the Unicef Regional Director, Marie Pierre, who said that the access to clean water was another major area for concern also explained that eventhough resources are scarce and time is short, there is a need to take advantage of any opportunity to tackle the problems. The agency also assertained its readiness to increase support and fill the gaps they have observed in their tour.
Unicef has been highly effective and consistent in performing its duties over the years and around the world. The agency had recorded high rate of successes in improving the health care of children and women in the societies. Nigerians will forever be indebted to Unicef for it unlimited assistance to sustain healthy living in the country.