The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria continues as hostilities between Nigerian security forces and non-state armed groups enter their ninth year. Civilians still bear the brunt of the conflict that has resulted in widespread displacement, lack of protection, destroyed infrastructure and collapsed basic services. The food and nutrition crisis is of massive proportions.
7.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance this year in the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe", the Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria said today at the launch of the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan. "These are people who have been displaced and are living in camps or host communities, people who have returned home to nothing, and people living in other areas that are hard to reach for humanitarians."
In 2016 and 2017, in close cooperation with the Government of Nigeria, the humanitarian community provided life-saving assistance and helped stabilise living conditions for millions of people. Mortality and morbidity were reduced and a further spillover effect prevented. In 2017, the response was scaled up and, as of October, had reached 5.6 million people.
Overall, the number of food insecure people was reduced from 5.1 million to 3.9 million. A cholera outbreak was contained through the innovative use of an oral cholera vaccine. 1.3 million farmers were assisted to help improve agricultural production. And thousands of children were supported to go to school, against all odds.
These results – which are just examples of the many positive results that I have myself witnessed in many areas of the north-east - can be attributed to strong coordination, extensive engagement and generous funding", said the Humanitarian Coordinator. "The protracted nature of the crisis creates new needs which require longer-term assistance. For the 1.6 million who are displaced from their homes, and the communities that host them, we need to find durable solutions. This requires longer planning horizons, more strategic interventions and flexible, longer-term funding."
In the absence of a political solution, the crisis will likely continue into 2018. The 2018 HRP is, therefore, underpinned by a multi-year strategy representing a paradigm shift and a step towards strengthening the nexus between humanitarian, development and peace interventions, in line with the New Way of Working and commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. Partners will work together towards collective outcomes through joint analysis, planning and programming, and a coordinated platform for the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.