December 5, 2022

Northeast still in crisis, 8.3m in need — UN

Soldiers speak to people standing away from houses burnt by Boko Haram Islamists at Zabarmari, a fishing and farming village near Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on July 3, 2015. Several female suicide bombers in northeast Nigeria blew themselves up amid panicked villagers fleeing a Boko Haram attack, killing scores, the army and witnesses said on July 4. The latest carnage in series of attacks that have claimed more than 200 lives in just three days happened on Friday night in Zabarmari village, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the city of Maiduguri, the birthplace of the jihadist group. AFP

By Victoria Ojeme

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria has disclosed that the humanitarian crisis in the Northeast remains undefeated, as more women and children were displaced in 2022.

According to a new UN Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) in 2023, millions of vulnerable people in Nigeria and beyond will continue to face a daily struggle to survive.

“North-east Nigeria remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises, with at least 8.3 million people in need of assistance in 2023.

Read Also: Rights lawyer sues FG, AGF, INEC, PDP, Atiku for N200m each

“The scale of suffering borne every day by women, men and children across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states remains undiminished; urgent action is needed now more than ever.

“Addressing the needs of 5.4 million people will require close to US$ 1.2 billion.

“In 2023, 339 million people across the world will need humanitarian assistance — an increase of nearly 24 per cent from last year.

“According to the GHO, some US$51.5 billion — 25 per cent more than in 2022 — is needed to assist the most vulnerable (230 million people) in 69 countries, including in Nigeria,” the UN said.

The report added that humanitarian needs have increased dramatically partly because of the war in Ukraine and the impact of the climate crisis in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Pakistan, and Nigeria.

“Looming famine in the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere, unprecedented flooding in Pakistan and Nigeria, are some of the manifestations of climate change, requiring urgent action.

“In the West and Central Africa region alone, up to 69 million people are expected to need humanitarian assistance in 2023 amid concerns that north-east Nigeria and Burkina Faso, which are experiencing extreme hunger, could slip into famine if conditions worsen,” the UN said.

It said the humanitarian community in North-East Nigeria continues to work with government and humanitarian partners to address these needs and advocate the survival, well-being and dignity of all people affected by the crisis in the region.

This community includes volunteers and professionals from civil society, national and international NGOs, the government, the United Nations, and affected people themselves who together delivered assistance to five million people last year.

“The bravery, dedication, resilience and commitment of frontline staff, most working for NGO partners, who deliver the bulk of humanitarian assistance humbles me.

“Without them, we would not be able to support the government in addressing humanitarian needs in Nigeria,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthias Schmale.

“The humanitarian community faces severe risks in delivering humanitarian assistance.

“The security environment in North-East Nigeria is insecure and volatile and humanitarians must navigate threats to their personnel and assets,” he explained.

Early next year, the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Nigeria will be launched setting out detailed and prioritised plans for meeting the needs of affected people in north-east Nigeria, coordinated across United Nations agencies and NGO partners, as well as with the government of Nigeria.

Through this HRP, which is a part of the GHO, the humanitarian community will take collective action to save people’s lives and protect the most vulnerable.