From Atiku Sarki, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more concerted and institutionalized effort in ameliorating the suffering of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Africa, saying only “collective and coordinated” approach would make a difference.
In his remarks at the 16th African Union Extra-ordinary Session of Assembly of Heads of State and Government on Humanitarian Crises in African and Pledging Conference, holding in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, President Buhari said more than five million people have been displaced in the Lake Chad region, with 70 percent of them mostly Nigerians.
“We cannot deny the fact that we have a very dangerous humanitarian crisis in our hands,” he said, adding that the violent onslaught by Boko Haram insurgents on the North East of Nigeria had led to humanitarian crises.
In Nigeria, President Buhari noted that the humanitarian crisis necessitated the creation of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, which was designed to provide a national response strategy.
“This is in line with the Kampala Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons. I am glad to inform Your Excellencies that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs of Nigeria has continued to live up to its mandate in responding quickly to all situations of displaced persons and disaster management.
The President said the ministry also broadened its scope of operations by caring for deprived school children in the country.
“The ministry carries out a compulsory school feeding programme in primary schools across the country. This is to ensure that every child gets at least one balanced and nutritious meal daily.
“Through the ministry, government established Internally Displaced Persons camps in every part.