Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) has allocated $22.4 million to address the vulnerability to existing humanitarian crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.
The allocation is also to cover vulnerability to COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement issued yesterday by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said: “Today, the NHF announced a $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, which comes at a critical time as the North-east region enters its 11th year of protracted crisis while also grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The statement quoted the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, to have said: “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.
“With the coronavirus now spreading across the country, the NHF swiftly provided emergency funds to procure essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline aid workers when the pandemic reached Nigeria. This allocation will further support urgent efforts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.”
The statement said: “The UN and humanitarian partners estimate that 7.9 million people were already in dire need of humanitarian assistance this year before the outset 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.”
Kallon was quoted as saying: “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 the North-east region.”