UN launches $1bn appeal for Northeast Nigeria

Rafat Salami, Abuja

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Friday, launched a $1bn plan to respond to what it called “Africa’s largest humanitarian crisis.”

At the event in Abuja, Peter Lundberg, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator said the constant push back of the boko haram has revealed the scale of the devastation of the northeast of Nigeria prompting such huge response.

He said the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria seeks is to “address the needs of those in crisis in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, with 75 partners ready to respond to those needs where areas are accessible.”

Mr Peter Lundberg said during the course of 2016 as the Nigerian Armed Forces pushed back boko haram held areas “the scale of the human suffering became more apparent and the humanitarian community scaled up the response.”

He explained that this Humanitarian Response Plan would address “the needs of almost 7 million people, in dire need of nutrition, food, shelter, health, education, protection and the water and sanitation needs of a very vulnerable population.”

Headded that “a projected 5.1 million people will face serious food shortages as the conflict and risk of unexploded improvised devices prevented farmers planting for a third year in a row, causing a major food crisis.”

Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and National Planning  Hajia Zainab Ahmed, while commending the UN for the prompt action added that Nigeria had already “demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate strong commitment to working together with the international humanitarian community.”