Presidency Refutes Mass Starvation Claims By Aid Agencies

Presidency Refutes Mass Starvation Claims By Aid AgenciesThe Presidency has refuted claims by some aid agencies that there is mass starvation in IDP camps set up in northeast Nigeria.

A statement from the Presidency says it is concerned about the attempts to whip up fears that the humanitarian crisis is worse than being reported.

While it recognizes that local and international humanitarian responders including the United Nations have done an immeasurable amount of effort filling in the gaps wherever they existed, the federal government says it is not true that 100,000 or even a million people will die because government is unable to provide care at the camps.

The Presidency says it is handling the situation with great sensitivity and has put measures in place to cushion the humanitarian challenges with collaboration between NEMA and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative.

Both organisations provide raw food items to IDPs at formal camps, self-settled centers, host communities and satellite centers while the state governments complement with condiments, firewood and maintain environmental quality of the IDP camps.

Boko Haram Insurgency: Agencies Say Six Million People Face Famine

Famine, Boko Haram Insurgency, Aid Agencies Aid agencies have warned that at least six million people in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon face famine as a result of Boko Haram violence.

Oxfam, the international rescue committee and catholic relief services also warned that more than 65,000 people were living in severe hunger in pockets of Northeast Nigeria.

They added that over one million others were “one step away” from famine.

A statement issued by the Country Director for Nigeria for Action Against Hunger, Mr Yannick Pouchalan, stated that the groups have seen families who have not eaten for days with many begging for food.

The agencies claimed that conflict and counter-insurgency operations have led to farmlands, rivers and lakes being cut off from communities in and around the Lake Chad area that rely on agriculture and fishing to feed themselves.

Over six years of insurgency has left the region devastated.

Malnutrition-in-northeast-Nigeria-Unicef
UNICEF says children, pregnant women and nursing mothers are severely malnourished in Nigeria’s northeast

Boko Haram terrorists are pushing for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region, an agitation that has displaced over two million persons from the northeast.

The agencies statement on famine in the region and some neighbouring countries is coming weeks after UNICEF raised alarm of malnutrition in the region.

The UN agency had said if fears that 49,000 children are at risk of death if they do not get nutritious foods in the shortest possible time.

Worries Grow Over El Nino Weather Report

el-ninoAid agencies have warned that millions of people are likely to face hunger and disease in 2016 due to the strongest El Nino weather on record.

Experts say the weather phenomenon is set to worsen droughts in some areas, while increasing flooding in others.

Some of the worst impacts are likely to be felt in Africa with food shortages expected to peak in February.

Regions including the Caribbean, Central and South America will also be hit in the next six months.

This periodic weather event, which tends to drive up global temperatures and disturb weather patterns, has helped push 2015 into the record books as the world’s warmest year.

‘Monster Storm’ Destroys 90% Archipelago’s Building-President Baldwin

baldwinVanuatu’s president, Baldwin Lonsdale has described Cyclone Pam as a “monster” storm that left 90% of the South Pacific archipelago’s buildings destroyed or damaged.

President Baldwin said that the nation had been forced to start anew after the tropical cyclone killed at least eight people and injured 30 others.

Aid had begun arriving in the storm-hit nation – one of the world’s poorest – where trees and power lines had been felled and many buildings destroyed.

Aid agencies said it could be one of the worst disasters ever to hit the region.

Climate change

Mr Baldwin also noted that climate change had contributed to the disaster, saying his country had seen changing weather patterns, rising seas and heavier-than-average rain.

The situation on some remote islands closer to the eye of the storm is not yet known as communications are down.
Aerial images of the capital showed houses completely flattened.

The official death toll is eight, but this is expected to rise as rescuers reach more the remote islands.

Officials said that the death toll is likely to rise once communications are re-established with outlying islands.

“This is a very devastating cyclone in Vanuatu. I term it as a monster, a monster”, Mr Baldwin said.

“It’s a setback for the government and for the people of Vanuatu.”

“After all the development that has taken place, all this development has been wiped out”.

The president said he had been unable to contact family members due to the widespread destruction caused by the 185mph winds.

The cyclone levelled homes, smashed up boats, destroyed roads and bridges, and brought down power and phone lines.

Thousands have been left homeless on the archipelago.

“We do not know if our families are safe or not. As the leader of the nation, my whole heart is for the people, the nation,” he said.

Mr  Baldwin is preparing to return to Vanuatu from Sendai, in Japan, where he was attending a disaster conference when the cyclone struck.