The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) announced a $22.4 million (U.S.) 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 in northeast Nigeria. The allocation is the fund’s largest since the NHF’s launch in February 2017 and comes at a critical time as northeast Nigeria enters its 11th year of a protracted crisis while grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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” said Edward Kallon, the humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria.
The United Nations and humanitarian partners estimate that 7.9 million people were in dire need of humanitarian assistance 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 humanitarian crisis in northeast Nigeria remains among the most severe in the world today. Some 1.8 million people are internally displaced (IDP), with a majority of them living in host communities putting additional pressure on already stretched resources. Four 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 is needed for COVID-19 specific humanitarian actions in northeast Nigeria, in addition to the $834 million funding needed to provide urgent aid to 5.9 million people across the three conflict-affected states, according to the NHF.
The 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.