Ogoja -. The former Commissioner for Health in Cross River, Dr Inyang Asibong, has donated food and non food items to Cameroonian refugees in the state in commemoration of the 2019 Day of The African Child.
Asibong donated indomie, beverages, rice, toiletries, insecticides nets and drugs to children at the refugees settlement camp in Ogoja Local Government Area of the state.
She said that the gesture was to give hope, love and care to the African child in despair.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2019 celebration is “Humanitarian Action in Africa: Children’s Rights First’’.
She said that the theme was timely and emotional in view of the humanitarian call for assistance for those in crisis and violence situations.
According to her, there was no better way to celebrate the African child than visiting the camp to the refugees with a view of giving them a sense of belonging.
“The theme for this year is actually humanitarian aid; and I think there is no better place to celebrate the African Child than the refugee’s camp where we have over 27,000 Cameroonian refugees.
“We are here to celebrate the children; we came with a lot of items for them in other to add to their nutritional value. We have checked the children and found out that more is needed to beef up their nutritional value.
“With the support of the Cross River Government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), we are doing our best in ensuring that the refugees get their basic needs, shelter and food.
“We are here also to boost their morale; we know what it means to leave your ancestral home to an unknown place,’’ she said.
The former Commissioner advised the children to have a positive outlook towards life and urged them to be of good conduct in the camp.
Mr Princewill Ayim, Acting Director General of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency, said that the state government was doing its best in supplying the refugees with food, drugs, security and shelter.
Ayim, who said that the African Child needed support and educational development to build a good society, called on the federal government and donor agencies to support the state government in the running of the refugee’s settlement.
“The future is all about the children, the way we take care of the children is the same way our future will look like. We need to educate them properly and also teach them good morale for the growth of the society,’’ he said.
He explained that the number of Cameroonian refugees in the camp was on the increase daily, adding that the settlement was being overstretched.
“For now, the state government and the UNHCR have created some extra settlement so that we can relocate some of the refugees because if we allow the number to keep increasing, there could be an outbreak of diseases.
“The state Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade is a humanitarian, he is not taking any chances in ensuring that the welfare and health needs of the refugees are met,’’ he said.