The United Nations in Nigeria on Tuesday declared it is taking emergency preparedness and response measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
These measures will also address immediate humanitarian consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in case it spreads to north-east Nigeria.
“We will not wait for COVID-19 to reach camps for internally displaced persons before we act.
“They have already suffered enough from the decade-long conflict and our priority is to ensure the continuous delivery of life-saving assistance, especially health services, to the most vulnerable women, children and the elderly who need special attention,” Edward Kallon, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Kallon said it is crucial for vulnerable people to have access to not only water, soap, shelters, but also food, education and protection.
He noted that the UN in Nigeria is supporting the governments of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states in developing emergency response plans that take the reality of the living conditions in many communities and IDP camps into account.
The Humanitarian Coordinator highlighted that the United Nations and its humanitarian partners are actively involved in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) in IDP sites across the BAY states in support of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Kallon also highlighted activities being implemented jointly in the IDP camps, guided by global guidance on COVID-19 Outbreak Preparedness and Response.
“Humanitarian partners are installing hand-washing stations in IDP camps and ensuring supply of clean water,” Kallon explained. “Partners are also distributing soap and teaching women how to produce their own.”