UN Security Council calls for disbursement of Oslo fund to Nigeria

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The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the disbursement of the funds pledged for the Northeast Nigeria at the Oslo Conference on Boko Haram in February.

The 15-member Council, in a statement, expressed grave concern about the threat of famine facing some 20 million people in conflict-affected Northeast Nigeria, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan.

The 15-member Council’s statement read by the President for August and the Permanent Representative of Egypt to the UN, Amr Ramadan, linked the famine threat to conflict.

“The Security Council calls for the immediate disbursement of the funds already pledged to Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria at successive international conferences.

“These conferences include those held in Oslo, Geneva and London, if possible in the form of multi-year and un-earmarked funding.

“The Security Council calls on Member States to provide additional resources and funding to pull people back from the brink of famine.”

The Council also requested the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide early warning when a conflict could lead to famine.

The Security Council further requested Guterres to provide an oral briefing in October 2017 on impediments to an effective response to the risk of famine in these countries.

The Council also made specific recommendations on how to address country-specific impediments in order to enable a more robust short and long-term response.

The 15-Member body deplored that in these four countries, certain parties have “failed to ensure unfettered and sustained access” for deliveries of vital food assistance as well as other forms of humanitarian aid.

The Council reiterated its calls on all parties to allow the safe, timely and unhindered access for humanitarian assistance to all areas and to facilitate access for essential imports of food, fuel and medical supplies into each country, and their distribution throughout.

The Council further urged all parties to protect civilian infrastructure which is critical to the delivery of humanitarian aid in the affected countries.

The Council expressed its readiness to continue to support the Secretary-General’s call to action to avert famine in conflict-affected countries and commits to engage constructively on his specific recommendations. (NAN)