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11m survivors desperately need aids, says UN envoy

The Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel said this while Spotlighting the desperate plight of millions in Africa’s Lake Chad basin.

Millions have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency and the Nigerian military offensive to drive the jihadists from Borno state

Mr Toby Lanzer, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, said this while Spotlighting the desperate plight of millions in Africa’s Lake Chad basin.

The top United Nations humanitarian official for the Sahel region also called for international solidarity with the people in urgent need.

Lanzer told UN Correspondents at the UN Headquarters in New York that the Boko Haram crisis did monumental destruction to the Lake Chad basin countries, which include Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

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The UN emergency official regretted that the condition of the victims of the insurgents was dire adding,
“I wish I had good news, but I don’t”.

“About 11 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, 7.1 million of them are severely food insecure.

“To say 'food insecure', according to World Food Programme, is that they are living on the edge, surviving on, if they can, one meal a day,” he said.

Lanzer added that among the situation of children is particularly worrying.

“Some 515,000 children are severely and acutely malnourished and their lives are at risk if aid does not reach them urgently.

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“No government on earth can do what it takes to confront these numbers of severe food insecurity.

“This is a clear case where international solidarity with the governments of the region is needed,” he stressed.

According to him, the Sahel region already has about 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDP).

Lanzer said improving security situation in the Lake Chad Basin region had revealed the depth of the humanitarian suffering of survivors of the destructive insurgent group.

“The scale of humanitarian suffering in the region has become increasingly evident with improving security situation as a result of the military campaign against Boko Haram.

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“This has allowed humanitarian actors to reach many places which were impossible to get to earlier due to insecurity.”

Lanzer regretted that following the improved security situation, he personally saw communities that were totally destroyed by Boko Haram insurgency during the period it held sway.

He also lamented over a situation whereby some communities saw some age-grades completely wiped out, particularly the aged and infants as a result of the years-long insurgency.

“We saw towns and villages that were totally destroyed.

“Places that were completely cut off for over three years and places devoid of two, three and four- year olds because they have died,” Lanzer said.

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