The United Nations says at least 1.2 million people are currently stranded in the north-east where Boko Haram insurgency has been on for 10 years.
Edward Kallon, UN humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, said this on Friday while speaking at the international civil-security summit in Maiduguri, Borno state capital.
Kallon said there is a “continuously shrinking humanitarian space” in the north-eastern states of where the insurgents have continued to unleash mayhem.
“As of this year, two more LGAs have become out-of-reach for the humanitarian community,” he said.
“While we strive to improve the quality of services to people we reach, there are now an estimated 1.2 million people who cannot be reached by the humanitarian community and represent an estimated 50 per cent increase in geographic space and a 30 per cent increase in numbers of people in comparison to last year.”
He said while over 35,000 people have lost their lives in the insurgency, 14,000 were civilians “but many others were members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.”
The UN official lamented that aid workers have “increasingly become the target of attacks by non-state armed groups, criminals and petty thieves.”
“Ten aid workers, all Nigerians, have died as a result of violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and other non-state armed groups in the past 18 months,” he said.
“Six of our colleagues are still held hostage.”
Reuters had reported that security forces have left major roads in the north-east in a new strategy, thereby “cutting off access for humanitarians workers as more of the region falls under the sway of the insurgents.”