The new United Nations fund set up this year to tackle the looming famine in Nigeria and a deepening humanitarian crisis has reached US$24 million.
The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) – that is projected to receive $80 million by the end of the year kand is one of 18 country-based pooled funds – allows donors to pool their contributions for a stronger and timelier response to the needs of those most affected by the ongoing crisis, including millions who face a high risk of food insecurity and disease outbreaks.
According to a Press Statement made available to NewsVerge by Biodun Banire, the Public Information Officer of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Nigeria, this year, the UN and partners are planning to reach 6.9 million people with life-saving aid in the north-east of Nigeria in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, mostly affected by the humanitarian emergency triggered by the violence that has affected the region in recent years. The appeal for 2017, detailed in the Humanitarian Response Plan, is for $1.05 billion, making it the fourth largest single-country appeal globally.
“We need to do more, we need to do it quicker and we can always do better,” said Mr. Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) a.i. in Nigeria. “Funding for the Nigeria appeal this year is pivotal, and I am delighted that donors are fulfilling commitments to the new fund, which will help us respond quicker to new priorities. But we need to step up our collective response – the $1 billion appeal is still only 20 per cent funded and millions need help in what is Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis,” Lundberg added.
The NHF was launched during the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in February. Managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on behalf of the HC, it plays a vital role in ensuring an effective, coordinated, prioritized and principled humanitarian response in Nigeria.
The NHF provides funding to international and national NGOs, UN agencies, funds and programmes, and Red Cross/Red Crescent organisations, with a focus on the front-line responders. To date, the NHF has received $24 million in contributions and pledges, through the supports from Sweden, Germany, Norway, Belgium, the Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, the Arab Gulf Program for Development, Malta and Sri Lanka.