As the world marks the World Humanitarian Day, Vickie Robert Foundation Nigeria pays tribute to the efforts of the humanitarian community, national civil society, and the private sector, to confront the ongoing crisis in North East Nigeria. Since January of this year alone, humanitarian assistance has been delivered to over 1.8 million Nigerians displaced by the conflict, over half of whom are children. However, the humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s North-East and the Lake Chad region remains one of the most severe in the world today: 8.5m people remain in need of humanitarian assistance in 2017 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Now in its eighth year, the crisis shows no sign of abating.
The World Humanitarian Day global theme for 2017 is NotATarget. To mark this year’s World Humanitarian Day, the VRF Nigeria would like to focus on the protection of civilians in conflict, particularly from sexual abuse and exploitation arising from displacement, as well as the dangers faced by humanitarian aid workers.
In North East Nigeria, women and children continue to suffer sexual abuse and exploitation at an alarming rate. Women, men and children face grave human rights violations and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape. Since the start of the conflict in 2009, more than 20,000 people have been killed, countless women, boys and girls abducted and children drafted as so-called “suicide” bombers. Girls have been used in the vast majority of these attacks.
VRF Nigeria would also wish to use this occasion to remember the tragic incident that led to the death and injury of civilians and aid workers in the bombing of an IDP camp by the Nigerian Security Forces on 17 January 2017 in Rann, in what was then a newly accessible area in North-East Nigeria. Such events, along with other access challenges faced by the humanitarian community, demonstrate the very real danger of providing assistance in conflict-affected areas.
Members of VRF Nigeria remain committed to supporting humanitarian efforts in North-Eastern Nigeria by providing urgently needed food, water, shelter, education, and medical care as well as addressing protection issues of the affected population.
For more information, contact:
VRF NIGERIA: +2348058828894
VRF UK: +447476872829