Nigeria’s Humanitarian Crisis ‘Can No Longer Be Ignored’


Human Wrongs Watch

With the scale of human suffering in north-eastern Nigeria becoming clearer as the Government has pushed Boko Haram insurgents from more and more areas, the United Nations ON 2 December 2016 launched a $1 billion funding appeal to address the needs of those in crisis, and announced that nearly 75 partner agencies are on standby to respond where areas are accessible

Women pound maize at a so-called ‘widows house’ in Banki, Borno State, northeast Nigeria. In Banki, many women who have become separated from their husbands during the Boko Haram related crisis feel safer living together. Photo: UNICEF/Katerina Vittozzi

as the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria seeks more than US$1 billion to assist those in crisis in the most affected states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) throughout 2016, human suffering has become more apparent as the Nigerian Armed Forces pushed Boko Haram out of areas the group had held.

The response area shifted from Abuja to Borno state, enabling easier access to the vulnerable population for the humanitarian teams, however, the conflict scaled up and so did the urgent need for more assistance.

As such, the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria seeks more than $1 billion to address the needs of those in crisis in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, about 6.9 million people.

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People fleeing Boko Haram construct make-shift shelters in Monguno, Borno State, Nigeria. They need food, water and health services. Photo: UN OCHA Nigeria

“This is the largest crisis on the African continent and I am confident that with the support of the international community and the private sector, we can begin to bring hope to the people of the north-east,” stressed Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator, while also complimenting the Government of Nigeria and the initiative behind the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on their full cooperation to address the humanitarian situation.

While fear of unexploded improvised devices prevents farmers from planting for a third year in a row, nearly 5.1 million people are expected to face serious food shortages. The Humanitarian Response Plan will aim to tackle urgent nutrition, food, shelter, health, protection, education, and water and sanitation needs.

“The narrative on this humanitarian crisis can no longer be ignored and we are appealing to the international community to help us prevent the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians over the coming 12 months,” stated Mr. Lundberg.

“The Government have already demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate strong commitment to working together with the international humanitarian community,” said Zainab Ahmed, Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning of Nigeria. (SOURCE: UN).

2016 Human Wrongs Watch

 

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