The United Nations appeals for $1 billion humanitarian aid for North East Nigeria

The UN on Thursday said more than $1 billion in funding was needed this year to help millions of people affected by Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

The humanitarian co-ordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said “life-saving emergency assistance to the most vulnerable” in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states was the “immediate priority”.

Funding would also go towards improving the quality of programmes already in place and increasing the ability of local agencies to respond in the longer term, he added.

“In doing so, humanitarian partners will require $1.05 billion to reach 6.1 million people with humanitarian assistance,” he said in the foreword to the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Launching the document in Abuja, Kallon said at least 70% of last year’s appeal for $1 billion in funding was met, making Nigeria “one of the best-funded appeals globally”.

A total of $196 million has been carried over and will go towards programmes providing food, shelter, clean water, education for out-of-school children and medical care.

But Kallon said: “Most of the carry-over will be exhausted in the first quarter of the year”.

The UN and other aid agencies have previously warned about the potential effects of under-funding the humanitarian response to the insurgency.

At least 20 000 people have been killed since 2009 and more than 2.6 million have been forced into camps for the displaced or to stay with distant family or friends elsewhere in Nigeria. Others have fled across the border into Cameroon, Chad or Niger. Read more on this here.