Benue: FG Seeks Urgent Deployment By Partners To Tackle Humanitarian Crisis

In Breaking News, Civic Space, National News
Women carry out sanitation at the Ichiwa IDP camp in North Bank, Makurdi, the Benue State Capital while a child watches on. 9/11/2023 (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)

By CrossRiverWatch Admin

The Federal Government on Thursday appealed to development partners and multinationals to urgently deploy their services to Benue state to tackle the issue of shelter for displaced individuals, as the burden was too much to be shouldered by the government alone.

The appeal was made by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu when she visited the Ichiwa Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp at North Bank, Makurdi in Benue State in the company of the Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.

Dr. Edu said the situation she met on the ground is unacceptable and requires an immediate concerted effort to redeem, a statement issued by her spokesman, Alhaji Rasheed Olanrewaju read.

“I feel so heavy in my heart, and I will have sleepless nights about what I have seen here until we find solutions. A household of 6 living in a small shanty that can’t even accommodate the width of my arm, made of light tarpaulin, when it rains mothers and children are out there in the rain.

“We are here to build low-cost houses (two sites at the same time) for the displaced persons. It should be a matter of emergency for all agencies and all stakeholders in humanitarian responses to urgently deploy to Benue to help remedy the situation because the condition I see here is unacceptable,” she said.

Speaking further, the Minister said: “The federal government of Nigeria, requests, as a matter of urgency, for all international partners, donors’ agencies including the UN and indeed everyone in the humanitarian space to deploy to Benue State; the situation is an emergency “

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu (M) interacts with a resident of the Ichiwa IDP camp in North Bank, Makurdi, Benue State during her visit to the camp while the Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia (R) watches on. 9/11/2023 (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu (M) interacts with a resident of the Ichiwa IDP camp in North Bank, Makurdi, Benue State during her visit to the camp while the Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia (R) watches on. 9/11/2023 (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)

“Let me re-emphasize that the humanitarian situation in Benue is devastating, their people must be resettled properly in their ancestral homes, the government cannot do it alone, all hands must be on deck, Benue needs humanitarian support and must be treated so urgently.

“On our part, the government is providing shelters for them and several other interventions including water, sanitation, and hygiene programs as well as educational learning programs. We cannot allow this number of children to be unschooled.

“In this spot where I stand alone, we have over 14,000 women children, the aged, their families, and households sleeping in their unbearable tiny space.”

Dr. Edu announced that the federal government in partnership with the state government would intervene to ameliorate the people’s suffering but maintained that “we can’t do it alone because what we have here is a monumental humanitarian crisis, hence we need all our development partners to put their foot on the ground in Benue.”

The Minister expressed the fear that Gender Based violence and other forms of violence against women could be rife at the camp. “With young girls everywhere in the camps who know the level of all sorts of violence they are facing? This is why there is an urgent need for intervention,” she stressed.

She urged parents in the IDP camps to ensure that their children are protected and go to school, assuring that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu would do all in his power to resettle them in their ancestral homes.

 

There an estimated 14,000 inmates at the Ichiwa IDP camp in North Bank axis of Makurdi, the Benue State capital. The are sheltered in tarpaulins which the Minister describes as "unacceptable." (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)
There are an estimated 14,000 inmates at the Ichiwa IDP camp in North Bank axis of Makurdi, the Benue State capital. They are sheltered in tarpaulins, which the Minister describes as “unacceptable.” (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)


Also speaking, Governor Alia commended the President for fulfilling the promise he made to the people of Benue by committing to the resettlement of the IDPs in their ancestral homes.

Alia said the interventions of the Minister during her two-day visit were heartwarming, pointing out that “this is was what the people of Benue have been yearning for”

The Governor described Dr. Edu as a perfect match for her ministry and a great asset to Tinubu’s government.

He expressed delight that the people were beginning to receive the democratic dividends promised them by the President during his electioneering campaign.

The governor was optimistic that the next visit of the Minister to Benue State would be to commission some of the humanitarian projects of the federal government in the state.

High points of the Minister’s visit include the donation of relief materials comprising food and non-food items to the IDPs.

Lack of shelter contributes to the multidimensional poverty faced by 133 million Nigeria's. (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)
Lack of shelter contributes to the multidimensional poverty faced by 133 million Nigerians. (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)
The lack of shelter also puts children at risk and often means they are out of school. The Nigerian Government says, this is a priority area in its Renewed Hope Agenda. (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)
The lack of shelter also puts children at risk and often means they are out of school. The Nigerian Government says, this is a priority area in its Renewed Hope Agenda. (Credit: FMHAPA/Smart Agbor)

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