Mark Lowcock

The United Nations on Friday said two nongovernmental organisations; Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps whose activities in the North-East were suspended by the military in September will be allowed to return to the region in a few days time.

A statement by the UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock on humanitarian situation in Borno State, North-East Nigeria, read, “I have received assurances from the relevant authorities that the suspension of the activities of Mercy Corps and Action Against Hunger announced in September will be lifted in the next few days. That should allow an immediate resumption of life-saving assistance to nearly 400,000 people who have been without food and other essential help for the last month.”

Lowcock also revealed that, “The Government also plans in the next fortnight to bring together all the relevant stakeholders, including the UN and NGOs, to discuss the shared challenges in Borno.

“I greatly welcome all this. Enhanced dialogue between the Government and the international community, including international NGOs, in pursuit of the shared goals of bringing peace, promoting recovery, and assisting and protecting innocent civilians in the North-East who have been the main victims of the conflict is in everyone’s interest.”

Lowcock added, “I’m glad to have had the opportunity during my visit this week to review the situation with senior figures in the Nigerian Government, with the military and other authorities in Borno, with international, national and local NGOs, and others. With everyone I have met, I have agreed that NGOs – through their rich networks and capacity to reach people, and their expertise and experience in operating at the community level – have a very important role to play.”

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