The Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) has announced $22.4 million funding to address increased vulnerability of people affected by both COVID-19 pandemic and insurgency in the Northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
Edward Kallon, the NHF Coordinator in Nigeria who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the fund was the largest donation since its commencement in 2017.
He noted that the fund is coming at a critical time when the region is entering its 11th year of crisis occasioned by continued insurgency which is now compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“With the new coronavirus now spreading across the country, the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund swiftly provided emergency funds to procure essential personal protective equipment for frontline aid workers when the pandemic reached Nigeria.
“This allocation will further support urgent efforts in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe,” Mr Kallon said.
He said that the NHF donation was just a fragment of the over 246 million dollars which was required in 2020 for COVID-19 specific humanitarian actions in North-east.
Mr Kallon said that the figure was also in addition to the 834 million dollars funding needed to provide urgent aid to about 5.9 million people across the three conflict-affected states.
He added that the United Nations and humanitarian partners estimated that 7.9 million people were already in dire need of humanitarian assistance before the onset 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.
“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 North-east Nigeria,” Mr Kallon explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that NHF was launched in February 2017 and is being managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The fund has received contributions from Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Sweden and Switzerland for urgent actions in 2020.