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Nigeria: Nigerian Red Cross and ICRC assist thousands of displaced

05-07-2001 News Release 01/26

Over the past two weeks ethnic violence has broken out in various parts of Nigeria, forcing more than 72,000 people to flee their homes.

As a result of these incidents, some 50,000 people have sought refuge in Benue and Nassarawa states in central Nigeria. Most of them are staying with relatives or friends, and about 9,000 have gathered in three camps. The Nigerian Red Cross Society and the ICRC have provided the displaced with emergency assistance consisting of blankets, mats, buckets and soap.

In June, more than 22,000 people fled their homes following clashes in Bauchi state, in the north of the country. The most vulnerable among them will also receive aid after completion of a needs survey now under way.

On Saturday, in Kaduna (central Nigeria), yet more families were displaced by ethnic strife. The Nigerian Red Cross and the ICRC have since carried out non-food distributions for around 1,000 people with no means of subsistence.

Last year the country was rocked by numerous outbreaks of ethnic violence. Each time, the local Red Cross and the ICRC took swift action to assist thousands of displaced.