The United Nations on Friday released a total of US$10.5 million from the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) and the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide assistance to people affected and left vulnerable by floods across Nigeria, including those in north-east Nigeria who are already ravaged by conflict.
A $5 million NHF allocation will provide much needed water, sanitation, health care, shelter and non-food items support to over 264,000 people in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY), covered by the Humanitarian Response Plan 2022, who are reeling from the combined impact of floods, protracted conflict, rising hunger and a cholera outbreak.
The NHF funds will complement a $5.5 million CERF rapid response allocation for the states most affected by flooding in Nigeria that will help provide clean water, sanitation, hygiene, emergency shelter and health care assistance for 495,000 people in Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, and Niger states. The funds will also help recovery in these states. The allocation will complement ongoing response efforts by the Government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Red Cross/Red Crescent.
“In my visits to Anambra, Adamawa and Bayelsa, I met and spoke with people who are struggling to put food on the table and to get clean water to drink. Many have no shelter and have lost all their possessions and livelihoods,” said Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Matthias Schmale.
“What I saw in Bayelsa, which was essentially cut off from the rest of the country, with homes and fields underwater and some people still sleeping on boats, reminded me of the images coming of out of Pakistan several weeks ago.”
According to the latest data by national authorities, flooding since July has affected more than 4.4 million people across Nigeria. Over 2.4 million people are displaced, about half of them in Bayelsa alone (1.2 million). More than 660 people have lost their lives.
The floods have also damaged over 650,000 hectares of farmland across the country. “The massive destruction to food crops will have implications on food security in the immediate term,” said Mr. Schmale. “As flood waters recede, the most urgent priority is to help affected people get back to what is left of their homes and to regain lost assets and livelihoods. Farmers for example, will require seeds and other agricultural support.”
More than 19.5 million people in Nigeria were already facing severe food insecurity before the floods, according to the 2022 Cadre Harmonisé food security and nutrition assessment.
As discussions at the Climate Change Conference (COP 27) in Egypt draw to a close, the flooding in Nigeria is yet another reminder that climate change has a devastating impact on already poor and vulnerable people and will continue to determine their ability to survive unless urgent action is taken.
The CERF rapid response allocation for the Flood Response outside the BAY states is the second rapid response allocation this year. In May and September, CERF released $10 million and $15 million, respectively, to support the food insecurity and nutrition response in north-east Nigeria.
Also, in September, the NHF provided two allocations of $2.5 million and $1 million to enable humanitarian partners to provide urgent nutrition support in the north-east in line with the interagency $ 351 million multisector plan to address the desperate food and nutrition situation.
CERF is one of the fastest and most efficient mechanisms for providing emergency funding for people in need, through rapid allocations to new and deteriorating crises or where there’s a shortage of funds.
Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the NHF enables the timely allocation and disbursement of donor resources to address the most critical humanitarian needs defined in the Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan.
The NHF strategically complements CERF, with both intended to have a multiplier effect in terms of drawing in additional funding to respond to humanitarian crises.