The U.N commission for refugee chief, Filippo Grandi recently met with displaced civilians while on a visit to Borno state capital, Maiduguri North East Nigeria. Grandi met with the civilians as part of a tour to the Lake Chad Basin, where families remain displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency.
About 1.8 million Nigerians are now internally displaced after a seven-year insurgency staged by Boko Haram militants.
Displaced families in the region have continued to face conflict and suffering in an area already facing extreme poverty, harsh climatic conditions, disrupted economic activity, and limited or destroyed infrastructure.
Humanitarian needs are still huge. There's malnutrition, there's still problems of access to water, shelter conditions.
“Humanitarian needs are still huge. There’s malnutrition, there’s still problems of access to water, shelter conditions. Many protection problems, especially violence against women, SGVB (Sexual and Gender-based Violence),” said Grandi.
Thousands have also been killed in the conflict that has also seen women abducted and raped, leaving psychological scars on many.
The UN envoy met victims who suffered at the hands of Boko Haram after being kidnapped. They also narrated their ordeal and how they managed to escape from their captors.
Grandi described the conflict as one of Africa’s largest displacement crises, saying the world cannot afford to brush it under the carpet.
“Continue humanitarian assistance, strengthen protection, especially for the most vulnerable and start planning for solutions. This is really what we need to do,” he added.
Attacks by Boko Haram and counter insurgency measures in the Lake Chad Basin have displaced over 2.5 million people in four countries.