In Maiduguri IDPs call for review of emergency food intervention

Reports say many of the IDPs who took shelter at various un-registered camps were not benefiting from the government’s food interventions programme.

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Food aid being distributed to internally displaced people (IDPs) in Banki IDP camp, Borno state, northeast Nigeria play

Food aid being distributed to internally displaced people (IDPs) in Banki IDP camp, Borno state, northeast Nigeria

(UNICEF)
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Some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri on Saturday called on the Federal Government to expand the scope of Emergency Food Intervention programme to lessen their suffering.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many of the IDPs who took shelter at various un-registered camps were not benefiting from the government’s food interventions programme.

NAN reports that some of the un-registered camps include Madinatu, Muna and Shehuri in Maiduguri metropolis.

Some of the displaced persons made the plea by telephone calls to NAN in Maiduguri.

Mallam Jidda Kone, a displaced person in one of the unregistered camps, said they were not receiving food assistance from government and other humanitarian organisations.

Kone said that most of the IDPs engaged in menial jobs or resorted to street begging to feed their households.

“I took refuge here after the Boko Haram insurgents took over my village in Jere Local Government Area.

“We are not receiving food or any other form of assistance from the government or humanitarian organisations,’’ he alleged.

Another displaced person, Bulama-Lami Dinge, added that the situation had forced most of them to go back home and cultivated their farmlands in spite of attacks by the insurgents.

He said they were left with no option than to grow crops to enable them to feed their families.

He alleged that many farmers were even killed by the insurgents while working in the farms in the past few weeks.

“My village is about 20 kilometres away from Maiduguri, every day I used to go to the village to work in the farm and return to sleep in the camp.

“We bought fertiliser and seeds from the market at exorbitant prices to nourish the plantations,’’ he added.

Ms Bintu Modu, a mother of three children, said she could hardly feed her children due to lack of food.

Bintu recounted that her husband was killed by the insurgent and there was nobody to look after them.

But the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) insists that more than 5.2 million people need food security intervention in the north eastern part of the country affected by insurgency.

Also, OCHA’s Humanitarian Situation Report indicates that only 2.1 million people of the targeted 5.1 million people were reached in the food security intervention in September in the region.

ALSO READ: Why IDPs can't leave their camps yet

The report indicates further that 191, 550 farmers were trained and while 97, 650 others benefited from livelihoods support since January.

Similarly, statistics from National Emergency Management Agency shows that there are 11 registered IDPs camps in Maiduguri metropolis, six of the camps are under the supervision of the agency while the remaining five were under the World Food Programme.

NEMA, however, says it has conducted enumeration exercise of IDPs at camps in liberated communities and host communities to enhance food distribution exercise.

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