The government has responded to the appeal made by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to prevent millions of people from dying of starvation in Yemen, North East Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan. ‘The UN is warning of complete catastrophe in South Sudan alone, with women and children hiding in dangerous swamps and reduced to eating the roots of swamp plants to survive,’ said development minister Lilianne Ploumen. ‘In Yemen, one child dies every 10 minutes due to violence, hunger and lack of medical assistance.
Maiduguri, Borno State Nigeria, 15 February 2017. Representatives of 12 donor countries and agencies completed a three-day mission to Borno State, northeast Nigeria, hosted by the UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Refugees are suffering terribly in the bitter cold gripping the Greek islands, and the Dutch government does not intend to abandon them to their fate. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, said, ‘Consultation between Dutch diplomatic staff in Athens, representatives of the Greek government and aid organisations has revealed that the bulk of relief supplies have already arrived in the country. That’s good news, because it cuts down transport time. Now we need to get the supplies to the refugees as fast as possible.’
The United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States are gravely concerned over a number of decisions announced by the National Leadership Forum (NLF) in its communiqué dated 24 December 2016.
On Saturday foreign minister Bert Koenders met with the Nigerien authorities in the capital Niamey, to discuss a joint approach to tackling the surge in migration that has turned Niger into a key crossroads for West Africans on the move. Speaking in Niger, the minister noted that ‘thanks to its geographical location, Niger has become the main nexus in the route to Libya and Europe. Almost all West African migrants pass through the city of Agadez, so it could play a key role in solving a problem that is impacting directly on Europe.’