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Nigeria: Red Cross aids thousands of displaced people

15-11-2001 News Release 01/45

In cooperation with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, the ICRC began on 12 November to distribute blankets, mats, buckets, soap, and food aid to over 25,000 displaced people. The recipients had fled their homes in October following violent clashes between militias of two rival communities and reprisals carried out by the army after 19 soldiers were killed. Some 17,000 displaced people are now in nine camps in the eastern state of Taraba; 8,000 others are in seven camps in Benue, also in the east of the country.

According to the National Red Cross Society, the hostilities between members of the Tiv and Jukun communities and the army operation together resulted in 200 casualties and 40,000 people being displaced. The Nigerian Red Cross carried out assessments in the regions affected by violence in order to identify the needs of the people who fled their villages. Its next step will be to distribute food to between 25,000 and 35,000 people, once it has determined more precisely the number of people requiring it. The food aid will consist of 10 kg of rice, 5 kg of dry beans, 500 g of salt and one litre of cooking oil per family. The operation will take a certain amount of time because of bad road conditions, which have made access difficult to certain camps where displaced people are living.