The United Nations humanitarian chief, Stephen O’Brien has announced the release of $13 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide life-saving assistance for victims of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east.
According to the UN, an estimated 250,000 people are in need of help because of the loss of property due to the insurgency. The UN also stated that over 50,000 people were in need of tools for the upcoming planting season, hence the CERF funding.
“People have experienced unspeakable suffering due to the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. We now have better access finally, and a chance to help them,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator said.
Unless we scale up now, 7 to 8 children will die of severe acute malnutrition every hour; 184 children will die every day. We need resources now to scale up our current response.
“The international community must take advantage of this opening to reach people with essential services and build on the CERF allocation to scale up the response,” he added.
Munir Safieldin, the acting Humanitarian Coordinator, described the situation in north-east Nigeria as ‘massive and alarming’: revealing that a total of 15 million people were affected by the violence instigated by Boko Haram out of which 7 million needed urgent humanitarian assistance.
“Unless we scale up now, 7 to 8 children will die of severe acute malnutrition every hour; 184 children will die every day. We need resources now to scale up our current response,’‘ he stated.
The CERF funds will support the provision of food, cash for food purchase, special child nutritional supplements, protection and health services to the most vulnerable people in the newly accessible areas through disbursements to the UN’s agencies such as the FAO, UNDSS, UNFPA, UNHAS, UNHCR, UNICEF and WFP.
CERF humanitarian assistance in Lake Chad Region since 2015: a breakdown
- Since 2015, CERF has supported Boko Haram victims with over $58 million
- Some $27 million was allocated in March 2015 to assist more than 1.6 million internally displaced people, refugees, returnees and host communities in Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
- An additional $31 million was provided in early 2016 to help 700,000 people in the Lake Chad Basin
- June 2016, $13 million released for Nigeria’s north-east
- In total CERF support has exceeded $70 million with this new injection of funds..
Borno State in the far eastern part of Africa’s most populous nation was the worse hit by the Boko Haram insurgency that sought to create a caliphate in the region. Until recently, most local governments were under control of the insurgents.
The IDP camps in the state were necessitated by the huge numbers of people who had to flee their homes during the Boko Haram rampage, reports from most of these camps indicate that the state requires support from civil society to effectively help persons living in the camps.
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