The raging pandemic has, among other things, disrupted distribution of relief materials, thereby making it difficult to render humanitarian services to the destitute and deprived persons.
The dearth of humanitarian services offered to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) is gradually becoming a matter of serious concern that requires immediate attention.
At Home for the Needy IDP Camp in Uhogua, Edo State, the situation has led to malnutrition, insufficient medical supplies to treat ailing children, and has kept many out of school with no money to settle tuition fees.
“We are in a precarious situation,” said Solomon Abumere, who coordinates the IDP camp which has over 3,000 inhabitants.
“This is a difficult time for every one of us at the camp, we are struggling to survive with little or no food. Before COVID-19, we were relieved by charitable organisations but the outbreak of COVID-19 has completely shut out supplies from donor agencies, making us vulnerable,” he said.
Speaking with BusinessDay in Benin City, Abumere said they have not been able to meet their basic needs, including food and other essentials for well-being as a result of COVID-19 impact on philanthropic bodies.
“Apart from few occasions when the state government and Victim Support Fund brought things for us, it has been very terrible for us. I can’t describe how they have lived all this time. They have never experienced this kind of hunger and lack of medical supplies. Getting food is a miracle these days and we can’t even afford tuition fees for those in the universities,” Abumere lamented.
The coordinator appealed to the Federal Government and donor agencies to come to their rescue and relieve them from hardship.
“To all agencies that do well to feed IDP, we appeal to them to assist us and help us with our task. We are building human capacity in this camp, and we need to sustain it. I want to appeal to donor agencies not to let fatigue affect their operation, and to find ways to assist us,” he pleaded.
Distraught with the current situation, Unity Samson, one of the inhabitants of the camp, said life has become unbearable, adding that they find it difficult to get two square meals a day.
“I know the government is doing their best but we still need more from them so that we can eat nutritious food. Earlier, we ate twice a day but these days we eat just once because COVID-19 has reduced aid provided by charitable organisations,” Samson said.