At least 22,000 people have fled their homes and need humanitarian aid following last month’s violence between herders and farmers in central Nigeria, the Red Cross said on Tuesday.
“The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in close cooperation with the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), is responding to the most urgent needs of more than 22,000 people displaced by the recent armed violence in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South Local Government Areas, Plateau state,” the Red Cross said in a statement.
“Hundreds have been killed and injured, while some areas were left in ruins. Most of the displaced women, children and elderly are staying in congested impromptu camps where they arrived with whatever they could carry — and often with nothing. Some are being hosted by local families, who are also struggling to make do with scarce resources.”
Lene Groenkjaer, the Red Cross official in charge of the affected communities, said women, children and people with disabilities would be prioritized for the delivery of relief.
The statement added: “The ICRC will provide rice, beans, condiments, and one month’s supply of a nutrition supplement. They will also receive blankets, mosquito nets, mats, tarpaulin, kitchen sets and clothing in an effort to improve their current living conditions. At the same time, the ICRC is working to improve the sanitation and hygiene items by distributing soap and setting up hand-washing stations and latrines.”
Dozens of people were reported killed in June attacks and reprisals in Plateau, worsening the herders-farmers’ armed violence in the Nigerian agrarian belt. The killings have put President Muhammadu Buhari on the spot as the opposition and others asked him to rejig his security team.