The Integral Disaster Relief process was initiated on 20th March 2015 for the current IDP and refugee crisis in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Five Integral Members are currently responding …
The Integral Disaster Relief process was initiated on 20th March 2015 for the current IDP and refugee crisis in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. Conflict and inter-communal violence have displaced an estimated 1.2 million people, 5.6 million people are in need of help, notably food, shelter and healthcare assistance, and a further 194,000 have fled to the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon (source here).
Five Integral Members are actively responding to the situation – SEL (France), Tear NL, Tearfund (UK), World Concern and World Renew. MAP international also have ongoing work in Niger with a hospital who is working with a large number of new arrivals from Nigeria. A number of other Members are as yet undecided and looking at how they could be involved.
Integral Member Tearfund (UK) is providing immediate humanitarian relief, prioritising WASH, Food Security and Protection. Martin Jennings, Tearfund’s Geographical Head for West and Central Africa says, “The need in Nigeria is great at the moment, and the scale of the crisis is such that we need to work closely with other organisations to make sure that the most important needs are being addressed quickly and effectively. We are keen to find the best way to respond working together with other Integral Members. Creating opportunities for personnel in country to work collaboratively will be vital to enabling us to respond and implement projects in the short timeframe needed.”
Chris Sheach, Deputy Director of Disaster Response for World Concern is currently in Chad visiting border areas where displaced people have fled for safety. He says, “This response shows that crises do not respect borders, or status … Fishermen have fled to the desert, and businessmen are left with only the clothes on their back as they travel for months. Our response needs to be as flexible as the disaster, moving across borders, helping people get back to what they do best, and adjust to their new environment.”
Chris says about the Integral response, “I am excited about this opportunity to work together. This week I have been planning and coordinating with Integral Members and their partners in Chad, and we will continue to look at how we can help those in Nigeria and other countries. We each bring different skills and resources, and these can be maximized through collaboration.”
Adding to the complexity of the situation are the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday 28th March. Besides the challenges of Boko Haram, there are real fears of post-election violence, as happened in 2011 when 800 people died. The UN fears up to 1.8 million could be affected this time round.
Integral will continue to facilitate teleconferences and the sharing of information and resources for all of its Members with work and partners in the region.