Nigeria: 14.8 Million Children Affected By Boko Haram

The Country Director, Plan International Nigeria, Dr. Hussein Abdu has disclosed that 14.8 million people have been affected by Boko Haram crisis in the North East in the last six years.

Abdu also stated that 7 million out of that figure are in dare need of humanitarian assistance, of which only 3.9 million have been covered while 84 percent of the 2.5 people suffering from malnutrition are children.

Dr Abdu gave this statistics during the marking of 2016 Day of the African Child held yesterday in Abuja, he said, over 20,000 have been killed, 2.2 million displaced, 2.7 million children are in need of protection services. 1 million children need access to education . 19,000 teachers have been displaced.

He said, “In Borno State alone, it is reported that over 300 schools have been severely damaged or destroyed and at least 196 teachers and 314 school children were killed from 2012 to 2014 December.

He said, ” children have become deliberate targets, often subjected to extreme violence from sexual abuse and forced marriage to kidnappings, slavery and brutal killings apart from being recruited as child soldiers, children have also become weapons used as suicide bombers in the last three years, nearly 100 women and girls have been deployed for attacks.

Plan International Nigeria have called on the government * to guide against compelling displaced people to move back to their homes without ensuring their safety and security, improved facilities and protection for children.

Children in IDP camps, especially girls should be protected again all forms of gender based violence.

All children displaced or killed in Boko Haram violence should be accounted for. The Nigerian government and with support from relevance national and international agencies should carry out a missing persons registration exercise and facilitate family tracing and reunification for children displaced by the violence.

In another development, UNICEF has called African leaders to double their efforts to stop conflicts in Africa, said two-thirds of the nearly 86,000 youth surveyed in a recent mobile-based poll conducted in nine African countries.

Using a messaging tool called U-Report, the short survey was sent to 1.4 million mobile users in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic, Senegal, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and Guinea, from 18 May to 1 June 2016.

The U-Report users surveyed, who are typically between 15 and 30 years of age, were asked to provide their opinion on conflicts and crises in Africa through short multiple choice questions on their mobile phones.

The findings of the survey will be shared with African leaders on the Day of the African Child, which is marked every year on 16 June by the African Union.

“It is so crucial, and even urgent for the leaders to heed the voices of the youth, if we must silence the guns by 2020, as set in our Agenda 2063. This is flagship project to which the youth must also recognize their role and take their responsibility,” said the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma

Source: Vanguard