ABUJA, Nigeria, June 15, 2020 — Yesterday, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) announced a US$22.4 million funding allocation for 2020 that will help address the increased vulnerability of people affected by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the existing humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. This allocation is the fund’s largest since the NHF’s launch in February 2017 and comes at a critical time as north-east Nigeria enters its 11th year of a protracted crisis while grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before and during the COVID-19 response, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund has proven to be a rapid and flexible funding tool enabling aid actors to adapt to fast-changing humanitarian emergencies,” said Mr. Edward Kallon, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria. “With the new coronavirus now spreading across the country, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund swiftly provided emergency funds 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 United Nations and humanitarian partners estimate that 7.9 million people were already in dire need of humanitarian assistance this year before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This number is expected to increase as the effects of the pandemic exacerbate humanitarian needs, including health services, food security and livelihoods.
“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,” Mr. Kallon explained.
The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria remains among the most severe in the world today. Some 1.8 million people are internally displaced, with a majority of them living in host communities putting additional pressure on already stretched resources. Four out of five IDPs living in camps are in overcrowded conditions with makeshift and temporary shelters built in close proximity to each other. This funding allocation will help ensure that critical, life-saving assistance reaches Nigeria’s most vulnerable while curtailing the most devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, a total of $246 million are needed for COVID-19 specific humanitarian actions in north-east Nigeria, in addition to the $834 million funding needed to provide urgent aid to 5.9 million people across the three conflict-affected states.