The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) has allocated $22.4 million to Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states towards addressing the increased vulnerability of people affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and terrorism.
A total of $246 million is needed this year for COVID-19 specific humanitarian actions in the North East, in addition to the $834 million needed to provide urgent aid to 5.9 million people across the three conflict-affected states.
The allocation is NHF’s largest since its launch in February 2017 and comes at a critical time as the North East enters its 11th year of a protracted crisis while grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
United Nations (UN) and humanitarian partners estimate that 7.9 million people were already in dire need of humanitarian assistance this year before the onset of COVID-19. This number is expected to increase, as the effect of the pandemic exacerbates humanitarian needs, including health services, food security and livelihoods.
“Before and during the COVID-19 response, NHF has proven to be a rapid and flexible funding tool enabling aid actors to adapt to fast-changing humanitarian emergencies,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon.
“With the novel coronavirus now spreading across the country, NHF swiftly provided emergency fund to procure essential personal protective equipment for frontline aid workers when the pandemic reached Nigeria. This allocation will further support urgent efforts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“The impact of COVID-19 has made it even more essential for donors to contribute to the NHF and support aid organisations in adapting their response and providing critical life-saving assistance in North East Nigeria,” Kallon explained.
The humanitarian crisis in the North East remains among the most severe in the world today. Some 1.8 million people are internally displaced, putting additional pressure on already stretched resources of other communities. Four out of five IDPs in camps live in overcrowded conditions with makeshift shelters.
NHF, launched in February 2017, is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and has received contributions from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Sweden and Switzerland for urgent actions in 2020.