Toby Lanzer, UN assistant secretary general and lead humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, has advised European countries to help tackle the humanitarian crisis in countries in the Lake Chad region.
Lanzer said this ahead of a major donor conference in Oslo that will be co-hosted by Nigeria, Germany and Norway on February 24.
According to The Guardian, Lanzer said European countries have done too little to tackle the crisis despite the opportunity to address humanitarian and migration issues.
“It’s not only that we want Nigeria to be stable for the prosperity of that country and its people, it’s also in our broader interests at home,” the top UN official said.
“This is a double win, if you want. You don’t want the most populous country on the African continent becoming increasingly unstable; at the same time, you want people there prospering and not having to flee from violence or seek opportunity elsewhere.
“There is a convergence of interests here. I think the UK is probably doing all it can, both on the humanitarian and development fronts, but I think making calls to other capitals across Europe is going to be something that is really vital over the next two weeks to generate more interest.
“There are about 515,000 children who are at risk of starvation right now, so step up, Netherlands; step up, Denmark. You have got to show some solidarity now and it is in your interests to do so.”
A recent report published by the international organisation for migration (IOM) revealed that in 2016, Nigeria was the third largest source of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.
The UN had in December 2016 urged global donors to pool $1.5bn (£1.2bn) for the crisis in the Lake Chad region, including $1.05bn for Nigeria.
Only 53% of the requested amount had been received as at January, the report says.
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