Première Urgence Internationale is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious international NGO. (https://www.premiere-urgence.org/en/)
Première Urgence Internationale helps civilians who are marginalised or excluded as a result of natural disasters, war and economic collapse.
Our mission is to defend basic human rights, such as those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. Our aim is to provide a rapid global response to the basic needs of populations affected by humanitarian crises to help them regain independence and dignity. “Our mission is to help populations affected by humanitarian crises by providing them with the skills to take their future back into their own hands”
Currently, our projects are being carried out in 21 countries by 2,650 native workers, 145 foreign workers and 80 head office employees. With a population of between 178 and 200 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has the strongest economy in Africa because of its oil production as well as its natural resources: gold, iron, diamonds and copper. Despite its economic strength, Nigeria suffers from enormous socio-economic inequalities and very high level of corruption.
Première Urgence Internationale has been greatly concerned by the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria, after the increase in tensions in 2009 and especially since the first population displacements in 2013.
Première Urgence Internationale has also had a presence in the region for over a decade, with projects being carried out in Chad since 2004 and in Cameroon since 2008, where the organisation is currently implementing a project tied in with the population displacement at the extreme north of the country, in the Adamawa Region.
Première Urgence Internationale is now starting work in Nigeria, targeting affected people living in the Flour Mills community, which is in the northern suburbs of Maiduguri. Full registration of the work in Nigeria is still ongoing, but Première Urgence Internationale has set up and maintained contact with NEMA, the state agency responsible for coordinating a response to the crisis.Although the needs of the people affected by the conflict are overwhelming, food security remains the most urgent priority for the beneficiaries. For the first phase of its work, Première Urgence Internationale intends to play an effective and reliable part with this in the host communities of Maiduguri.
In addition to this priority, other significant needs are being assessed by the team. The affected people, essentially the displaced, have an urgent need for non-food items for cooking and for transporting water. Access to clean water and its availability is also a major factor. As the affected population depends heavily on the host community resources, the improvement of means of subsistence has also been identified as a suitable approach to relieve the burden of these communities and to improve their wellbeing as well as that of the displaced people.
Finally, given the type of crisis and the scale of mass displacement, psycho-social needs will be significant for the displaced people. Première Urgence Internationale’s response will develop along the lines already identified, while reviewing its operational strategy as the crisis evolves. CDC and OFDA have already been identified as partners keen to sustain development activities for this work in Nigeria.
In the north-east of Nigeria, the humanitarian situation is extremely preoccupying. In the Borno state, the population is sinking into a food crisis that could evolve into a famine situation. While Première Urgence Internationale intervenes in Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno state, since April 2016, the NGO issues a warning about the emergency of the situation.
NIGERIA “Barely 25% of needs are covered by humanitarian aid”
Elsa Softic is Emergency Officer at Première Urgence Internationale. She participated in the exploratory mission in Nigeria in December and last January and she is currently in the country for the official opening of the mission. For her, the presence of our NGO is essential considering the scope of the humanitarian needs.
Since 2011, the north-east of Nigeria has been the scene of violent clashes between government forces and the Boko Haram militant group. This conflict, and in particular the acts of violence committed by the insurgents, has led to the displacement of at least 2.2 million people in the country and caused a major humanitarian crisis. r.