By Tunde Osho
Some 60,000 people displaced by ongoing hostilities in Nigeria’s crisis-torn Borno state will receive life-saving aid thanks to an allocation from the United Nations-managed country-based humanitarian assistance fund.
“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 UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria.
Set up through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), the assistance includes $2 million in support to the UN Humanitarian Air Service for frontline responders in the country’s north-east.
“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 region’s humanitarian crisis, sparked mainly by Boko Haram’s years-long insurgency, remains one of the most severe globally.
In the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, at least 7.7 million people are in need this year– with about 80 per cent, or 6.1 million, targeted for humanitarian assistance.
The $9 million allocation will help fund 15 projects supporting humanitarian rapid response in areas affected by large-scale conflict-related displacements, particularly in the northern parts of Borno, along the Maiduguri-Monguno axis.
In just three months, the close to 30,000 people who have fled violence in hard-to-reach areas are in dire need of food, water, shelter, 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 approximately another 30,000 have arrived following military operations.
Finally, the funds will also help maintain UN Humanitarian Air Service operations, crucial to reach and deliver aid in remote areas of the north-east, especially where roads are unusable.
Under the leadership of Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the NHF is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide flexible and timely funds for basic life-saving support. To date, it has raised $48 million in contributions and pledges.