By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched $1.3 billion appeal to help six million people severely affected by conflict, disease, and disaster in northeast Nigeria.
UN spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in New York.
“In Nigeria, today we launched a 1.3 billion dollars appeal to help six million people in the north-east of the country, more specifically in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. This is half a million more people than we tried to help in 2022.
“The Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, said the large-scale humanitarian and protection crisis in the three states shows no sign of abating. Some 2.4 million people are in acute need – impacted by conflict, disease and disaster.
“Women and girls are the hardest hit, making up more than 80 per cent of people in need of humanitarian assistance across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
“Child malnutrition is escalating and the already high levels of severe acute malnutrition are projected to more than double, from 300,000 children impacted last year to a projected 697,000 children this year.”
Without urgent action, 4,000 people in Bama, Borno state, are expected to face such catastrophic conditions as starvation, death, destitution, and extremely critical acute malnutrition levels become prevalent, OCHA said.
During the devastating ongoing 13-year-long armed conflict, children, girls, women and people with disabilities have been the most affected.
They require additional attention through enhanced access to protection and basic health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, and learning services.
Meanwhile, two million people have been displaced due to conflict, many of them experiencing daily threats to their health and safety.
Non-State armed groups continue to stage unpredictable attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure. In addition, the recent closure of camps for internally displaced persons are leading to new vulnerabilities.
In 2022, the UN provided emergency assistance to almost five million people in Nigeria in response to these and other crises, including severe malnutrition in the northwest and the worst flooding Nigeria has seen in a decade.
Earlier this month, the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Alice Nderitu raised concerns about a worsening security situation, calling for urgent action to address conflicts and prevent atrocity crimes.
The 2023 plan prioritises life-saving needs while working to reduce vulnerabilities and build resilience.
Contributions can be made to the Humanitarian Response Plan through the Financial Tracking Service, Nigeria Humanitarian Fund, or the Central Emergency Response Fund.