President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) to completely take over the daily feeding of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who according to the agency number about 1.6 million.
Vanguard reports that coordinator of the NEMA north-east zone, Mallam Mohammed Kanar, who made disclosure of the directive on Tuesday, stated that the agency has been mandated to urgently address the malnutrition and related humanitarian issues affecting the resettlement camps in Borno state.
Kanar spoke to newsmen during the flag-off of the distribution/presentation of relief items to officials of State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, for onward delivery to IDPs in the state. He said:
“The decision to resume 100% feeding of IDPs by NEMA is to complement the effort of the state government and other humanitarian agencies. With sustained effort by the military in liberating many communities, more IDPs are now willing to go back to their communities to continue their normal lives.”
Recently, officials of Medicine San Frontiers, known as Doctors without Borders, reported that there was acute malnutrition and food crisis at various camps in Borno State, leading to deaths, but the state government through Governor Kashim Shettima denied the report.
The governor insisted that those that suffered severe malnutrition in Bama and other camps were some hostages freed from insurgency, who spent over two years in captivity without enough food and access to health care delivery before they were taken to IDP camps.
The federal government also recently declared a nutritional emergency at the IDP camps in Borno to address the growing reports of starvation and avoid more deaths.