By Asma’u Ahmad
The United Nations, through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, has allocated nine million dollars to provide life-saving aid to some 60,000 children, women and men recently displaced by ongoing hostilities in Borno state.
Ms Yasmina Guerda, Public Information, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in a statement made available to the media men on Thursday in Abuja.
According to her, the money includes $2 million in support of the UN Humanitarian Air Service for frontline responders in North-East Nigeria.
“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 Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
“About 80 per cent of them, 6.1 million are targeted for humanitarian assistance,’’ she said.
She said the $9 million allocation would help fund 15 projects.
She added that it would also support humanitarian rapid response in areas recently affected by large-scale conflict-related displacements, particularly in the northern parts of Borno, along Maiduguri to Monguno axis.
Guerda said close to 30,000 persons have fled the violence in areas that are hard to reach for international humanitarian organisations in three months.
She added that the persons are in dire need of food, water, shelter, blankets, clothes and medical services.
Guerda said the funds would help to scale up the response near the border with Cameroon in eastern Borno such as Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Kala/Balge, Monguno, Askira/Uba and northern Adamawa (Madagali).
“Another 30,000 persons approximately have arrived in just three months following military operations.’’
She said the funds would also help maintain UN Humanitarian Air Service operations.
She added that the UN Humanitarian Air Service operations 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.
She quoted Edward Kallon, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, as saying that the crisis continues to displace thousands of vulnerable women, children and men every week.
Kallon said many have gone through unspeakable hardship and the UN and its partners remain committed to help alleviate their suffering.
“This UN fund give us the flexibility to prioritise those who are most in need of aid and act swiftly for the good of the people of north-east Nigeria,” he said.
Newsmen recalls that the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) 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 fund was managed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs under the leadership of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon.
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.