Boko Haram Conflict: Nigeria Fails UN Agenda For Humanity
Chikezie Omeje, August 19, 2016
The United Nations' Agenda for Humanity has five core areas of action. Nigeria has failed woefully in these areas. The first one is to end and prevent conflict. That is to stop conflict before it breaks out and end it when it does. Unfortunately, Nigeria has never been proactive in either preventing or ending conflict.
The Boko Haram crisis which started in 2009 was badly handled by the government. Due to the inability of the government to protect the civilian population, thousands of people have been killed; women and girls have been abducted and raped. Over two million people have been displaced and about 14 million people have been affected by the conflict in the northeast part of the country.
The second agenda for UN humanity's core areas of action is to respect rules of war. This means stopping warring groups or countries from breaking international law. Nigeria did not respect international law in responding to the crisis. Nigerian armed forces have been notorious for human rights violation and extra-judicial killing. Amnesty International had reported several instances of abuse and extra judicial-killing carried out by the Nigerian armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram.
The third area of action in the UN Agenda for Humanity is to leave no one behind. That is the most vulnerable people must be considered first. Women, girls, and children are often the most vulnerable people in conflict. Hundreds of women and girls have been abducted by Boko Haram with little effort by the Nigerian government to rescue them. The most prominent are the over 200 Chibok school girls who were abducted in April 2014 but still have not be rescued. There have been also reports of massive hunger in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and children have been dying of malnutrition.
The fourth UN Agenda for Humanity’s core areas of action is to work differently to end need. It means shifting from delivering aid to finding solutions together. Nigeria is neither delivering aid nor finding solutions to rehabilitate people who have been affected by Boko Haram crisis. Most of the IDPs, over 70% of them are in informal settlements and government has not been doing enough to help them.
Finally, the fifth area of action is to invest in humanity. That is to raise enough money to address the world's humanitarian needs. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, only 86 million Dollars out of the 279 million Dollars has been raised so far for the Nigerian Humanitarian Response Plan of 2016. This represents just 37% of the required funding to provide life-saving commodities for communities affected by the conflict.
All around the world, 130 million people are living in crisis, according to UN. So this UN Agenda for Humanity provides hope for a better world and countries like Nigeria needs to step up responsibility in catering for its people who are in need of humanitarian assistance.
Developed countries also need to do more in preventing and ending conflicts. According to UN, 80% of all humanitarian needs are driven by conflict. Today, 43% of people live in fragile situations and by 2030 that number is estimated to climb to 62%. The migrant crisis in Europe and elsewhere has shown what it means to share the world in the 21st Century. A crisis anywhere is a burden everywhere.