April 14, 2015

ADRA Feeds Displaced Nigerians on Anniversary of Girls’ Abduction

ADRA remembered the first anniversary of the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria by providing food to hundreds of people uprooted by the violence.

Boko Haram militants kidnapped the schoolgirls from a government boarding school on the night of April 14-15, 2014, drawing international condemnation and a social media drive with the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency joined the campaign with a series of memes on Facebook and Twitter.

Little is known about the health and whereabouts of the girls, whom the Nigerian government has unsuccessfully sought to free. The BBC said Monday that 50 of them were seen alive last month.

A United Nations agency somberly marked the anniversary of their abduction by announcing that Boko Haram has rendered 800,000 children and their families homeless in northern Nigeria.

Internally displaced people lining up for food aid in the restive Adamawa state. All photos: ADRA
Among the displaced people being fed is Yusuf, 20, who was injured as he fled a Boko Haram attack.

“ADRA is on the frontlines of this crisis,” said Marie-Jo Guth, ADRA’s program manager for emergencies. “Our colleagues at ADRA Nigeria are doing an amazing job by bringing life-saving food to families that have suffered the most brutal abuses from Boko Haram.”

Boko Haram has destroyed entire villages in its war to establish an Islamic state, causing scores of people to flee their homes in search of safety. Nearly 218,000 people are homeless in the northern Adamawa state alone, where ADRA is actively working.

ADRA is distributing food to about 1,500 internally displaced people and also providing other forms of support to about 100 children, it said in a statement. In addition, it has helped mitigate diarrhea disease among 200 children under the age of 5 and has given prenatal training to 30 pregnant women in a camp for displaced people.

ADRA said its work in the Adamawa state has been hampered by limited road access. ADRA staff members have been forced to transported themselves and materials by air and to purchase vehicles locally.

“Our team are deploying incredible efforts and demonstrating a great sense of dedication for their humanitarian mission,” Guth said.