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Nigeria: Red Cross helps people displaced by armed violence in the north of the country

31-07-2009 News Release 09/150

Abuja/Geneva (ICRC) - Following this week's violent clashes between the Nigerian security forces and members of the Islamic armed group Boko Haram, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Nigerian Red Cross Society are providing material and psychological assistance to an estimated 3,500 people who have fled their homes and sought shelter in barracks and police stations around Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state in northern Nigeria.

" Red Cross volunteers took the lead in organizing this improvised accommodation for the displaced. Supported by the ICRC, they have been registering people, providing psychological support, and alerting them to sanitation issues, " said Alexander Knup, ICRC delegate in Abuja. " The ICRC has donated two first aid kits to the clinic treating those who have been wounded. "

There was an initial shortage of food and essential household items, so the Red Cross team mobilized the state authorities and they provided food and water yesterday. The National Emergency Management Agency provided some food items for the displaced families, while the Red Cross distributed additional supplies such as salt, onions, tomatoes, oil and pepper. Police and public services have also begun the task of collecting the bodies from the streets of Maiduguri.

The ICRC, the Nigerian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely and respond to the most urgent needs.

    

 
For further information, please contact:
  Blessing Ejiofor, ICRC Abuja, tel: +234 803 333 5280
  Anna Schaaf, ICRC Geneva, tel: + 41 22 730 22 71   or +41 79 217 32 17