The United Nations said it mobilised over $3.2 billion as donor funds for intervention and management of the Boko Haram-induced humanitarian crisis in Northeast Nigeria in the past five years.
Edward Kallon, the current UN Humanitarian Coordinator and head of the Nigerian Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said this during a sendforth dinner in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
Kallon, a Sierra Leonean who assumed office in 2016 as the foremost UN envoy in Nigeria is expected to end his five year stint this month.
Delivering a speech at the dinner, Mr Kallon said his stint went with many positive achievements despite being a complex one.
“It has been a complex and challenging five years tenure which I accomplished with passion, humility and patience,” he told an emotive hall filled with guests like the Borno state deputy governor, commissioner, heads of INGO, security heads, CSO and the media.
He said the people of Borno had in the last five years stolen his admiration, especially their ability to “demonstrate resilience in the face of atrocities.”
“That is the strength I admire in the Kanuri and Borno people in general. That aspect of resilience and hope for a better tomorrow and never giving up.”
According to him, “our partnership has been successful over the years and I am leaving with a singular pride. We made an international awareness on the level of atrocities committed by Boko Haram to the international communities at Oslo 1 and Oslo 2.”
“I cannot forget the joint efforts we made in bringing succour to those who may be affected by the insurgency. Together we averted famine in 2017; we tackled cholera outbreaks, and we alleviated human suffering by providing humanitarian assistance to over 5 million people in Northeast Nigeria annually,” he said.
Mr Kallon had however worried that he was leaving at a critical time when dwindling resources that come as donor funds and not matching increasing insecurity in the region.
“We did not only raise awareness of the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency, but we were also able to mobilise well over $3.2 billion over the years of my leadership.Those were the critical resources that brought succour to the affected populace,” he said.
He said he still sees light at the end of the tunnel especially with the recent unprecedented surrender by Boko Haram.
Also speaking, the governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum who was represented by his deputy Usman Kadafur, said Mr Kallon has transcended the bounds of an international envoy to show brotherliness to the people of Borno.
“When the time comes for writing the story of the efforts galvanised to bring peace and stability in Borno state, the name of Mr Edward Kallon will not only be reflected but written in gold,” he said.
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