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Ireland to send 87 tonnes of emergency supplies to North Cameroon

Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Irish Aid, Press Releases, Africa, 2015

 

Ireland to send 87 tonnes of emergency supplies to assist families displaced by conflict in Nigeria


Ireland is today dispatching thousands of blankets, tents, cooking kits, jerry cans, and other urgent supplies to assist thousands of Nigerian refugees in Northern Cameroon. The announcement was made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock, TD.
 
Over 87 tonnes of Irish stocks will provide relief to thousands of vulnerable families that have recently sought refuge in Northern Cameroon, fleeing the conflict between military forces and the Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria.
 
The airlift, worth around €900,000, will be sent this weekend from the UN Humanitarian Response Depot in Accra, Ghana, where Irish Aid pre-positions supplies for use in global emergencies. 
 
Announcing the airlift, Minister Flanagan said:
 
“I am gravely concerned about the serious security situation in north-eastern Nigeria and that large parts of the Nigerian border with Cameroon, Niger and Chad have fallen under Boko Haram’s control. Their attacks have driven people from their homes and it is  estimated that 1.5 million people have been displaced internally within Nigeria and that over 150,000 people have fled to the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Niger and Chad. 
 
“As the brutal actions of this group continue to spread beyond its borders into neighbouring countries, Boko Haram now represents a threat to the peace and security of the whole region.  This is a particularly difficult time, given today’s elections in Nigeria.


“This weekend’s airlift will provide vital supplies to the most vulnerable people; including tents, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, and tarpaulins, as well as water supply and sanitation equipment.”
 
Minister Seán Sherlock said:
 
“The living conditions for Nigerian refugees in Minawao camp are dire.  There is an inadequate supply of water, a severe lack of hygiene items and an urgent need to construct latrines and boreholes. With the onset of the rainy season next month, the refugee population is extremely vulnerable to a cholera outbreak.
 
“Between 28 February and 1 March, a two day period, 16,000 new Nigerian refugees arrived in the area and are now being transferred from the border into the already over-crowded camp.  About 70 per cent of these new arrivals are women and children.
 
“The continuing large-scale influx of refugees requires increased and urgent humanitarian assistance to protect vulnerable families and meet their basic needs.”

 
The emergency stocks will be distributed by Ireland’s NGO partner, Plan, in the Minawao refugee camp in Northern Cameroon.


 
ENDS


Press Office


28 March 2015


 
Notes to Editor:
 
Irish Aid is the Government’s overseas assistance programme. It is managed by the Development Cooperation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For further information see
www.irishaid.ie 
 
Irish Aid stockpiles non food items which are most in demand by people in crisis and emergency situations, including shelter and housing supplies such as tents, blankets, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, and tarpaulins, and water supply and sanitation equipment such as jerry cans, water tanks, soap, squatting plates, latrines, as well as pickaxes, spades, ropes.
 
Since 2011, the Nigerian militant group, Boko Haram, has carried out violent attacks on civilians, displacing over 1.5 million people within Nigeria.  In May 2013 the government of Nigeria declared a state of emergency in the three states Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.  
 
In total, it is estimated that 9 million people have been affected by the violence, a third of whom are in acute need of humanitarian assistance.  In addition, approximately 150,000 Nigerians have fled to neighbouring countries.  The insurgency gained in strength and brutality since the beginning of 2014 and has now started to spill over into Cameroon, Chad and Niger.  
  
Boko Haram is seeking to establish an Islamic state with strict adherence to Shariah law in the economically marginalised north-eastern states of Nigeria.   
  
As part of Ireland’s Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency humanitarian stocks within the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) Network of hubs around the globe.  These hubs are strategically located near disaster-prone areas - in Accra (Ghana), Brindisi (Italy), Dubai (UAE), Panama City (Panama) and Subang (Malaysia) - within airport complexes, close to ports and main roads.