FG backtracks, gives Mercy Corps, Action Against Hunger nod to continue operations

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Mercy Corps

The Federal Government yesterday temporarily lifted the suspension placed on two international humanitarian non-governmental organisations, Action Against Hunger and Mercy Corps, operating in the northeast.

They were suspended by the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command of the Nigerian Army on September 19 and September 24 respectively over allegation that they were supplying food, fuel and medicine to Boko Haram insurgents.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that the government was concerned about counter terrorism efforts and that measures must be put in place to support it.

She said the concerns and recommendations of the board of inquiry that investigated the allegations would continue to receive attention and scrutiny to address the issues raised.

She said: “Based on the 7-point agenda proposed by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator to strengthen coordination and partnership between the humanitarian community and the government of Nigeria, in the North East, and taking into consideration the planned civil military coordination workshop in Maiduguri by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (FMHADMSD), these issues will be addressed.

“Among others, they will be addressed through establishment of a high policy forum on humanitarian assistance in Northeast by this ministry, vetting of all humanitarian vendors, clearance of all NGOs, allocation of fuel to humanitarian actors, submission of monthly reports on humanitarian activities through the FMHADMSD, review of civil-military coordination in Maiduguri and Abuja, development and approval of a cash transfer policy for humanitarian assistance in Northeast.”

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