Chris Steven, Abuja
The Canadian Government has launched a Famine Relief Fund that will immediately assist countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen who are currently facing humanitarian crisis.
Canada had on March 17, 2017, announced $119.25 million in humanitarian funding to respond to food crises in these four countries and has remained one of the earliest major donors to provide funds for the four affected countries.
Canadian Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Marie-Claude Bibeau, who launched the Fund on Tuesday, announced that for every eligible donation made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between March 17 and June 30, 2017, the Government of Canada would contribute an equivalent amount to the Famine Relief Fund.
She lamented that more than 20 million people in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are at risk of starvation as a result of severe drought and conflict noting that South Sudan is experiencing famine, and unless immediate action is taken, others could slide into a similar situation.
“This is an unprecedented situation. The Government of Canada is responding to this crisis and will also help Canadians mobilize their own response to a global appeal through the creation of the Famine Relief Fund.
Hunger is having a real impact on young children in particular as some 1.4 million are now at risk of dying of acute malnutrition and disease. Millions across the four affected countries and the neighbouring regions are in need of basic necessities such as urgent food assistance, water, sanitation services, health care, and shelter”, Bibeau said
The Fund, according to her, will support Canadian and international organizations currently working hard at providing assistance to those in need in the affected countries and neighbouring regions.
“Over 20 million men, women and children are at risk of starvation if we do not act now. Canadians have always demonstrated great compassion when it comes to humanitarian crises. I encourage all Canadians to donate to the registered Canadian charities of their choice. Together, we can make a difference and bring relief to people who need urgent help.” The Minister said
It would be recalled that the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, had on February 22, 2017 called on the international community to take decisive action to avert further catastrophe in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.
DSS y handover 82 rescued Chibok girls to FG
Chris Steven, Abuja
The rehabilitation of the 82 rescued Chibok girls is commencing soon – They have been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs by the Department of State Service (DSS) –
The minister of women affairs, Aisha Alhassan, said a facility has been put in place for the girls’ accommodation
The 82 rescued Chibok Secondary Schools girls have been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs to commence their rehabilitation. The girls were handed over to the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan on Tuesday by the Department of State Services, DSS at the Women Development Centre, Abuja, where a facility has been prepared for them.
The girls, since their rescue almost a month ago, have been kept in the DSS medical facility where they were said to have undergone medical tests.
The Minister said the facility at the Women Center has been upgraded to accommodate the 82 girls noting that they would be well taken care of here, noting that the 21 Chibok girls earlier rescued have been kept at the facility.
“Their sisters have been here since they were released and as you can see, they are well taken care of. Everything has put in place to make sure they are comfortable,” she said.
Speaking on why the girls have not gone back to Chibok village, the Minister said none of them are held against their own will or that of their parents stressing that anyone who indicates interest to return to Chibok would be allowed to do so. She however said none of the girls have expressed willingness to go back home.
”Anyone that indicates interest to leave will be allowed to go, but none of them have said they want to leave,” she said.
The girls who cladded in Ankara textile materials and were looking radiant sang in their local language immediately they settled into the hall. One of them was however on clutches while another was also wearing a POP on one of her arms.
The minister took journalists round the facility which comprises of classrooms, a sick bay, a chapel and hostels.
When they were released early this month, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole had that said the girls would ndergo various medical investigations and psycho-social tests.