By Prudence Arobani
New York – The new Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr Mark Lowcock, will travel to Nigeria and Niger from Sept. 9 to 12, 2017.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Lowcock’s visit is aimed at drawing global attention to destructive impacts of the crisis on the people in the area.
“The purpose of his visit is to raise the global profile of the Lake Chad Basin crisis, which is affecting some 17 million people in the region.
“In Niger, the number of food-insecure people is around 1.8 million.
“Some 800,000 children are affected by acute malnutrition and almost 250,000 people are either IDPs, returnees or refugees from Nigeria.
“In northeast Nigeria, around 6.5 million people need life-saving assistance.
“Nearly 5.2 million are severely food-insecure and 450,000 children will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year.
“The U.S. $1.1 billion appeal for the country is currently only 48 per cent funded,” OCHA said.
The UN agency said Lowcock would meet communities affected by the conflict, national authorities, humanitarian partners and the diplomatic community in both Nigeria and Niger.
According to him, the meetings are with the aim to mobilise additional support for humanitarian operations.
It is also with a focus on averting the risk of famine and reaffirming the centrality of protection in humanitarian action.
The new UN humanitarian and relief chief began his roles as Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator on Sept. 1, 2017. (NAN)