Abuja — The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria Edward Kallon, yesterday said over 30,000 internally displaced people have arrived in Maiduguri, mainly from Baga, in recent weeks.
Kallon said this after a visit to Monguno and to Teachers Village camp for the internally displaced persons.
He expressed concern over the upsurge in violence in the northeast of Nigeria that had forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes.
"Men, women and children displaced from Baga are converging on already congested camps or sites for internally displaced people in Maiduguri or Monguno town. Another attempted attack on Monguno on December 28 displaced more people.
"The impact of the recent fighting on innocent civilians is devastating and has created a humanitarian tragedy," said Kallon, after a visit to Monguno and to Teachers Village camp for internally displaced people in Maiduguri.
"It is heart-wrenching to see so many of these people living in congested camps, or sleeping outside with no shelter. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and the United Nations is extremely concerned about the impact that violence in north-east Nigeria, especially in Borno State, is having on civilians." He said.
He added that some 260 aid workers had been withdrawn from Monguno, Kala/Balge and Kukawa Local Government Areas affected by the conflict since November, "affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people. It is the largest withdrawal of aid workers since the international humanitarian response scaled up in 2016."
The agency said while aid workers had started to return to some areas to respond to the urgent and life-saving needs, the lack of a secure operating environment was preventing a return to normal humanitarian activities.