United Nations humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien, has released $13 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide life-saving assistance to 250,000 people in areas of north-east Nigeria that have just become accessible, bringing the total CERF support to more than $70 million.
About $27 million was already allocated in March 2015 to assist more than 1.6 million internally displaced people, refugees, returnees, and host communities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria who have been affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in the last 7 years. An additional $31 million was provided in early 2016 to help 700,000 people in the Lake Chad Basin.
The destruction of crops and looting of livestock have left many unable to support their families. More than 50,000 people are in need of seeds and tools for the upcoming planting season and CERF funding will help them to rebuild their livelihoods by providing food, including the all important child nutritional supplements.
Not only that, a significant number of women and girls, as well as men and boys, have suffered or witnessed terrible abuses due to the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram and CERF funds will enable humanitarian partners to provide critical psychosocial support and protection and health services. And all of the above will be achieved through disbursements to FAO, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNHAS, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.
In a statement made available on Monday, O’Brien stressed that the international community must take advantage of the better access to vulnerable people to reach them with essential services and build on the CERF allocation to scale up the response.
“The humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria is massive and alarming: 15 million people are affected by the violence instigated by Boko Haram including 7 million people who need urgent humanitarian assistance,” said Munir Safieldin, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator.
“Unless we scale up now, 7 to 8 children will die of severe acute malnutrition every hour; 184 children will die every day. We need resources now to scale up our current response,” he said.
He said the Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria was revised upwards by $51 million in June and is now calling for $279 million.
Source: Inside Safari