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Over 1.5m persons displaced in Benue – Gov Alia

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has said there are over 1.5 million displaced persons from herdsmen àttacks in Internally Displaced Camps, IDPs, across the state.

He disclosed this when a delegation from the US Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, BHA, and other partners paid him a visit at Exco Hall Extension, Government House Makurdi.

He described the visit as a significant milestone to Benue State which since 2018 had been confronted with profound humanitarian challenges arising from the relentless farmers/ herders crises, banditry and kidnapping.

Alia said according to 2022 Benue Humanitarian Response Plan, over 1. 5 million people have been forcefully uprooted from their homes with the majority residing in camps and host communities.

He added that the displaced persons faced severe challenges, losing their homes without access to fundamental services such Health Care, Education, Water, Sanitation and Hygeine (WASH).

He said over 80 per cent of the displaced population are traumatized and endure a poor state of mental health due to the atrocities witnessed during the attacks.

Gov Alia said the BHA’s visit will facilitate a comprehensive understanding for them to determine how best they can respond to the growing humanitarian concern that surpasses the financial and technical capability of the state.

He commended the efforts of international partners who played significant roles in supporting Benue State Emergency Management Agency, BSEMA.

Earlier in his speech, the Acting Executive Secretary BSEMA, James Iorpuu, attributed the significant achievements of the agencies to partnership with humanitarian partners, Ministries Departments and Agencies and civil society organisations in mitigating the impact of crises and ensuring the well-being of the affected population to the governor’s support and passion for humanity.

Director General, Bureau for Benue State International Cooperation and Development, BICD, Aondoaseer Viashima highlighted the responsibilities of the organisation and said the visit by the USBHA was to support the state’s commitment to tackle the problems of Persons of Concern, the State’s Resettlement Plan for IDPs.

The team leader of the United States BHA, Mr. Patrick Robin, stated that the objectives of the high-level visit to the state was to get first hand information of the humanitarian situation and team up with the government to find pathways for the people to be settled, to go home, and reintegrate into their communities.

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