By Chioma Umeha
The United Nations (UN) through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, has allocated US$9 million to provide life-saving aid to 60,000 children, women and men recently displaced by on-going hostilities in Borno State, including $2 million in support of the UN Humanitarian Air Service for frontline responders in north-east of the country.
The humanitarian crisis in the region remains one of the most severe in the world today, with at least 7.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2018 in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
About 80 per cent of them, 6.1 million are targeted for humanitarian assistance.
This $9 million allocation will help fund 15 projects.
It will support humanitarian rapid response in areas recently affected by large-scale conflict-related displacements, particularly in the northern parts of Borno, along the Maiduguri-Monguno axis.
No fewer than 30,000 persons have fled the violence in areas that are hard to reach for international humanitarian organisations in just three months.
These persons are in dire need of food, water, shelter, blankets, clothes and medical services.
Additionally, the funds will help scale up the response near the border with Cameroon in eastern Borno (Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Kala/Balge, Monguno, Askira/Uba) and northern Adamawa (Madagali), where another 30,000 persons approximately have arrived in just three months following military operations.
Finally, the funds will also help maintain UN Humanitarian Air Service operations, which are crucial for aid workers to be able to reach and deliver aid in remote areas of the north-east, especially areas where roads cannot be used.
“The crisis continues to displace thousands of vulnerable women, children and men every week. Many have gone through unspeakable hardship and the UN and its partners remain committed to help alleviate their suffering,” said Edward Kallon, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria.
“This UN fund give us the flexibility to prioritize those who are most in need of aid and act swiftly for the good of the people of north-east Nigeria.”
The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), managed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, was created to provide funds in a flexible and timely manner so those who need it the most have access to basic life-saving support.
The NHF is one of 18 country-based pooled funds and was launched during the Oslo Humanitarian Conference for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in February 2017.
To date, the NHF has raised $48 million in contributions and pledges, thanks to the generous support of Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Spain, Luxembourg, the Arab Gulf Program for Development, Malta, Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka.
Of that $48 million, $33 million -including this latest $9 million allocation – has now been allocated to various organisations in support of the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria.