May 26, 2024

The United Nations donated $20 million to expand the emergency aid provided for the food security and nutrition crisis in the north-eastern region of Nigeria

The United Nations donated $20 million to expand the emergency aid provided for the food security and nutrition crisis in the north-eastern region of Nigeria

Editorial

In order to address the escalating food security and nutrition crisis in north-east Nigeria, the United Nations donated $20 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund and the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund. This move aims to expedite the humanitarian assistance required in the region.

To assist the Government’s endeavors, an amount of $9 million from CERF funding along with an additional $11 million NHF allocation will be utilized for a united and comprehensive response across various sectors, with the goal of averting a decline into famine or similar dire circumstances.

In 2023, it is projected that approximately 700,000 children below the age of five in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (BAY) states will be at risk of experiencing severe acute malnutrition (SAM), which can be life-threatening.

This surpasses the SAM cases in 2022 by over twice the amount and is four times greater than the number of cases reported in 2021. According to the March 2023 analysis by Cadre Harmonisé, the peak of the lean season from June to August is expected to result in over 500,000 individuals in the BAY states experiencing severe food insecurity, just shy of reaching famine conditions.

The period of low food supply is also the time when the rainy season occurs, leading to a higher occurrence of diseases such as acute watery diarrhea, cholera, malaria, and other illnesses. This further worsens the already dire situation of undernourished children.

“Urgent and substantial increase in humanitarian support is necessary to prevent a severe crisis with extremely high levels of acute malnutrition and fatalities,” cautioned Mr. [Surname] Matthias Schmale holds the position of Nigeria’s Humanitarian Coordinator. Government officials, donors, and global community must promptly allocate funding to safeguard the lives and prospects of at-risk children in north-east Nigeria.

The majority of the CERF allocation is $6 million, which will be directed to the World Food Programme. This funding will be utilized for interventions to enhance food security, such as providing food and vouchers, benefiting 95,000 individuals who are extremely food-insecure. These interventions will be focused in three garrison towns in Borno State.

Approximately $2 million will be allocated to the UN Children’s Fund with the intention of preventing and addressing acute malnutrition. This funding will be used for provisions like ready-to-eat therapeutic food and locally produced nutrient-rich supplementary food known as Tom Brown solutions.

Additionally, a substantial amount of $1 million will be allocated to the Food and Agriculture Organization. This funding will be directed towards providing seeds, tools, and other forms of support within the agricultural sector. The objective is to enhance local production of wholesome and nourishing foods, ultimately fostering resilience within the community.

The majority of the NHF funding, amounting to $11 million, will be allocated to enhance the availability of clean water and sanitation hygiene. Additionally, the funding will contribute towards improving nutrition by increasing the bed capacity at stabilization centers and expanding outpatient therapeutic feeding programs. The remaining funds will be allocated towards healthcare, specifically for the treatment of childhood illnesses and severe acute malnutrition cases.

Additionally, resources will be dedicated to protection services, with an emphasis on addressing gender-based violence, ensuring the well-being of children, and carrying out efforts to remove landmines. The main goal of the NHF is to distribute 50% of its funding to national partners who are eligible and actively involved in frontline operations.

The current food security and nutrition crisis is largely caused by prolonged conflicts and insecurity, which have hindered people from both cultivating their own food and earning enough money to buy food.