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UN delivers food assistance to 26,000 people in northeast Nigeria

The UN humanitarian partners have delivered food and nutrition assistance to no fewer than 26,000 people in the past week in the town of Rann, Northeast Nigeria.

The Deputy Spokesman for the UN Farhan Haq disclosed this at a news conference at UN headquarters, New York on Wednesday.

According to Mr Haq, Rann is one of the most challenging environments for aid workers in the region. It was the site of repeated attacks by non-state armed groups during which hundreds of civilians, internally displaced people as well as aid workers were killed, he said.

He, however, said that due to funding shortages, only about 1.2 million people there were receiving food aid as of the end of May. Aid agencies had reached some 1.8 million people during the first quarter of 2022.

He said this was in spite of the fact that 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, which required 1.1 billion dollars, was less than 25 per cent funded. In addition, the official said that the UN team there, led by Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim, Matthias Schmale, had continued to support the Government’s work to respond to and recover from the pandemic.

Haq said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) had also ensured that support to sexual and reproductive health services continued to be provided.

For its part, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) partnered the European Union to ensure the implementation of criminal justice responses to terrorism and violent extremism.

“The partnership is contributing to federal prosecutors in Nigeria reviewing close to 2,900 case files that contributed to the release of 1,800 adults and 580 children from custody, as well as the referral of 230 cases for trial before the Federal High Court,’’ he said.